God’s Tribulation Triumphs
David Brandt Berg
The awesome Great Tribulation period, that last 3½ years of the reign of the Antichrist which immediately precedes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, has been misinterpreted and misunderstood by millions of Christians. Some Christian writers hold to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine, whereby they believe that Christ’s Second Coming to rapture His church will occur before this final 3½ years of Great Tribulation—thus they hope to be wafted off into the arms of Jesus before this time of trouble, trial, and testing takes place—a completely false, unscriptural doctrine.
Then others, although they have correctly understood and realized from the Scriptures that the church will be here for and go through the 3½ years of Great Tribulation—have envisioned and pictured this period as a time of defeat and destruction for Christians, a terrifying time of nothing but hell and horrors and defeats for God’s children—which I can prove to you from the Bible is not the case.
True, it’s going to be a time of terrible and awesome events. Yes, it’s going to be a time of great persecution and great battles. But it’s also going to be a time of miraculous victories that will spare us and protect us and help us to survive and witness till the very Coming of the Lord, when “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). So you shouldn’t be afraid of the Tribulation! The Lord is going to take care of His children and He’s going to lead us and protect us and help us win victories over the Enemy, to continue our witness until the very end and the Coming of the Lord. Hallelujah!
The Tribulation is actually something to look forward to in a way, because of the mighty events that are going to take place and the marvels of the Lord and the miraculous protection and preservation and provision, and the Lord’s wonderful manifestation of Himself and His power and His angels. They’ll be thrilling, exciting days, when grace still abounds even more than all the Devil can possibly do when he pulls out all his big guns and tries to destroy everything. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). It’s going to be glorious to see how the Lord’s going to keep His children
I think we need to see that picture of the Tribulation, that it’s not going to be a time of nothing but horror and defeat for God’s people, but that it will be a time of horror and defeat for the world and for the forces of Satan.
“The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). The people who know Jesus and know the Lord are going to be strong—in spite of the Antichrist, in spite of the Image of the Beast, and in spite of all their persecution. The worse things get, the more God’s Spirit is going to be poured out from on high to help us withstand the evil forces that will be warring against us. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).
Revelation 11 says that the Antichrist forces won’t be able to do anything against God’s two final witnesses until the very end, because His witnesses will have power to bring curses and plagues upon the wicked and to actually call down fire from God to devour their enemies. What a picture of mighty men and women of God fighting victorious battles over the demons of hell!
There will be nothing the Antichrist can do against them, nothing he can do to stop them, until just 3½ days before the Lord comes. Then he will finally be allowed to kill them, that the cup of iniquity of the wicked may be filled. And then, while the wicked are rejoicing over their death, suddenly the Lord will return in power and great glory and will resurrect and rapture them—a mighty triumph showing that God even has victory over death!
I think these two witnesses of Revelation 11 are symbolic of all witnesses, in a way. I believe all His children will have greater “power for the hour” in that day to help us survive as long as possible. He says, “Where sin doth abound, grace doth much more abound” (Romans 5:20). And where satanic power is going to abound, God’s power is going to much more abound to protect His own! God’s purpose is not going to be defeated; He’s going to have millions of witnesses right up to the end.
It has happened throughout time. All through the Bible there are stories about how the Lord miraculously empowered and protected His prophets and apostles. If you would go back through all the various miracles of the Bible, you’d realize that if they had these powers and were able to exercise such powers in the past, His final witnesses will also be able to exercise such powers. If His children have had them throughout history, certainly God will endue them with such powers in full in those last days for our defense and protection and deliverance. You’ll have what it takes when the time comes—power for the hour, and every hour. Even at the darkest hour you’ll still have power to meet every difficulty and every problem and opposition—the supernatural, miraculous power of God!
God’s Word even says that the Lord will defend His children during those very last days with monsters and plagues that will be on our side to afflict our enemies. In Revelation chapters 8 and 9, where we’re told about the Trumpets of Tribulation and the judgments that they unleash during the Great Tribulation, we read about some horrible monsters released from “the bottomless pit,” sent by God to torment the ungodly, the wicked, the unsaved. But He gives them a strict command not to hurt those who have the seal of God in their forehead. He says, “Hurt not any green thing, neither any tree, but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4). In other words, they were not to hurt the men who did have the seal of God in their foreheads.
During this Tribulation period when the Antichrist and his followers are attacking the followers of Jesus Christ, God is going to let loose pestilences and plagues and monsters to attack them. They’ll have so much on their hands defending themselves from these monsters and plagues that they won’t have much time to persecute God’s followers.
Some will die and suffer martyrdom even as they do today, but we’re still marching on. So don’t look on the Tribulation as a horrible defeat with nothing but persecution and suffering. There will be some of that, but I’m convinced from both the Scripture and the nature of God and His dealings with man, that it’s going to primarily be a time of victory over the forces of Satan and triumph over the anti-Christ wicked. Although they will be difficult days, His children are going to witness and shine brighter than ever before and be greater witnesses than ever! Even with all the Antichrist’s power and miraculous abilities and signs and wonders, he will not be able to put an end to us nor kill us until God has ordained it to be so.
So don’t worry about the Tribulation. It’s not going to be all lopsided, a rampaging victory for the Devil. Most of us are not going to be cowering, but powering in our fight and battle and defense of the Gospel right up to the end—with all the forces of heaven on our side. Although there’s going to be the most hell the world has ever known, there’s also going to be the most heavenly power and defense and help and protection. We can look forward to it as a time when His children are going to fight evil face to face and defeat it with the power of God!
Not only has God promised this power, but He’s promised it for now and He’s promised it for ages, and it’s been done before. I want to encourage you and inspire you that God has empowered ordinary people just like you and me to do the same things before, and we’re not only going to be able to do them in the future, but we can do them now if we’ll only believe God’s promises. Maybe it will even encourage your faith for what to expect right now—expect miracles.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). I want to inspire and encourage you that God is still the God of miracles, and what He’s done before, He can do again, not only later, but right now if you need it and have faith for it. Men and women of God have always had these powers available to them from the very beginning to defeat and oppose and defend themselves against the powers of the Devil. The same miracles of power and protection that occurred back in Bible times can happen now. And they’re certainly going to happen during that trying time ahead when they’ll be more needed than ever. He’s going to give us protection and power for our defense and deliverance.
The forces of God cannot be defeated and the plan of God cannot be frustrated.
Copyright © 1983 by The Family International.