The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already
signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for
Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of
mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do
this because they are overcomers.
Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from
Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will
My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck
because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from
Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for
two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two
representatives of Heaven in that room.
We may have been the Lord’s only representatives in that place of hatred, yet
because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, “In the world
you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
We too, are to be overcomers—bringing the light of Jesus into a world
filled with darkness and hate.
Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and
see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read
the last pages. I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”
for I have found where it is written that Jesus said, “He that overcometh
shall inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My
son.” This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the
world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying
Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was
so weak and sick. “Yes, the Lord will heal me,”, Betsy said with
confidence. She died the next day and I could not understand it. They
laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses
of the women who died that day.
It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all
that. Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the
world telling people about Jesus.
There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the
Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers
that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have
little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been
in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In
China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes
you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death.
Later I heard a
Bishop from China say, sadly, “We have failed. We should have made the
people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand
when the tribulation comes – to stand and not faint.”
I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it
is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for
the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the
world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.
Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the
Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can
use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it
When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the
women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing
could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even
worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave
me great hope and joy. “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are
ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part evil is
spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.” (I Peter 3:14) I found
myself saying, “Hallelujah! Because I am suffering, Jesus is
In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”,
but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This
last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in
Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they
cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We
need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice
clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ
are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as
though we are all going to escape the tribulation.
Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come
into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were
commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived
they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day
the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the
same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically
The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came,
but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they
were looking at each other, their eyes asking, “Will this one I am sitting
beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?”
The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless
windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I
told them a story out of my childhood.
“When I was a little girl, “ I said, “I went to my father and said,
“Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a marty for Jesus
Christ.” “Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to
Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on
the train.” “That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s
strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be
a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need—just in
My African friends were nodding and smiling. Suddenly a spirit of joy
descended upon that church and the people began singing, “ In the sweet, by
and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” Later that week, half
the congregation of that church was executed. I heard later that the other
half was killed some months ago.
But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to
encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God.
I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only
overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would
give a crown of life.
How can we get ready for the persecution? First we need to feed on the
word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean
disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of
scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.
Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not
just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History, but the life-changing Jesus
of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.
We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the
Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never
have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited
for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of
the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without
In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each
other. But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting. The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every
Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, and
a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the
horrible nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the
tribulation also. But then I read the Bible and I am glad.
When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were
prisoners for the Lord; we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy
Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit
helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the
tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will
not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not
once has He ever left me, or let me down. Though He slay me, yet will I
trust Him, for I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life.
—Corrie Ten Boom-1974
This letter was taken from a post at The Hiding
Place Message Board.