Written By Corrie Ten Boom in 1974.
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 change.
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 world.
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 by heart.
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 glorified!”
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 murdered.
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 time…”
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 it.
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 Christian’s life.
Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am 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. Hallelujah!
its been several years since I have read this letter, and it is still as powerful as ever.. I just don’t know how any Christian can look around them, and think that they will escape persecution, but probably its because in the USA and Canada, so far we have..
But its coming, sooner or later its coming, and I am sorry for those who will realize, too late, that the teachings they held to were wrong.. I always think on this verse:
John 17:15 “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil…Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”
It is far better to believe that someday we may have to face persecution and know, like Corrie Ten Boom’s father told her, that “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 time…”
It had been a few years since i had read this too Vicki..
Last night while browsing around i just happened upon it again.
Yes persecution is coming to the West…i don’t understand how any Christian cannot see the ground-work being laid already.
A few years back i began to hear the word ‘prepare’ while in prayer–This is what we all should be doing, preparing for ‘whatever’ comes in the closing days by examining ourselves daily, being sure we are continuing to abide in the faith. And trusting Jesus.
PJ and Vicki-
I read this as a teenager when I was struggling with my faith. Many times over the years as I journeyed through the “church world”—and finally out of it—I remembered the writings of Corrie Ten Boom and wondered WHY we are so arrogant as to presume we would not taste persecution—even martyrdom.
I am always humbled when I see that others have been shown this and are preparing to let go of the illusion of false teaching and embrace the peace of God which passes all understanding.
God truly does have a righteous remnant who follow the Lamb wheresoever He goes.
Randy Maugans-The Threshing Floor
The Church as a whole in the west, is blinded by pride Randy…materially rich but spiritually naked, poor, and blind.
The majority of believers in the west refuse to consider the Church will see any part of the tribulation.
I blame much of that on the false teachers and the numerous best selling prophecy books over the last 50 years. Neither their popular teachings or their books, have done anything to prepare believers for what is coming…
Thanks for this article on Getting ready for the tribilation.
I have been telling my readers to do this for a while now but did not realize it was for the tribulation.
Excellent article and I will be using it in an upcoming News Letter, after the current series on the Kings of the North and the South of Daniel is finished.
Joseph F Dumond
Thank you for the comment and, the link!
I was raised in the south, and reside now in canada. I’ve been telling my brothers and sisters here that persecution is coming and they will not listen. It’s as thou they would wish thier will over God’s. I thought I had read all of Corrie’s books but some how missed the one that article came out of. Can you let me know the name of that book. May the Lord bless and keep you all. Shalom! kathylou
Kathy from my understanding on the many copies of this i’ve come across, it was a letter she wrote to the Church in 1974, which was published in a Christian missionary periodical soon after…
Greg at Sermon Index included the greater portion of her letter in a message of his own back in 02…that was the first time i had read it. Since then, i’ve seen it in its entirety on many Christian websites: a couple can be found here, and here.
In one published account the name of the periodical was mentioned, but im afraid i can’t recall the name of it.
I understand your frustration at trying to warn others…its something most believers here in the West do not want to hear about. My greatest fear for many of these believers is that they will be taken totally by surprise. So many Christians here in the West, follow popular teachers and teachings…and sadly neither are warning believers to ‘shore up’ their foundations, to be prepared to possibly suffer for the sake of Christ and the Gospel.
They are too intent on telling these believers how to prosper and live the ‘good life now’…
I fear for the continuing faith of many,when their faith has been placed in these teachers and teachings, rather then in Christ.
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Trusting for money for my ticket.
Im very glad to have stumbled on in here. I believe we will face tribulation and persacution, but not the “great tribulation of God’s wrath.” However, who then is the restrainer of the anti-christ who must be taken out of the way, (it cannot be Michael, for he does not go away, but stands up in charge of the holy people.) Also, who are the great multitude spoken of standing before the throne, coming out of the great tribulation. It seems so clear that the plagues and judgement poured out in the end is directed on ”those that dwell upon the earth.” What about the church of Ephesus, the sixth church, because they have not denied the name of Jesus, they are kept from the hour of trial that is coming on “those that dwell upon the earth.” The seventh church is lukewarm, spit out of the Lord’s mouth, (foolish virgins caught up in the geat tribulation.) Looking and searching, thank you.
I believe the sixth church is the church of brotherly love, Philadelphia. The scriptures state that it does indeed escape the tribulation but God did not say that to all of the churches. The two end times witnesses are called up to heaven and are translated or raptured too and they aren’t attending the church of Philadelphia ( at least it doesn’t say they were). I believe God can call up as many as He wants and as often as He Himself deems necessary. He’s a supernatural God!There are several “raptures” in my understanding of both old and new testaments. God is the same God yesterday today and tomorrow. I prayed for understanding about the foolish virgins in the book of Revelations. All are the intended bride of Christ but only half made it into the wedding feast because the others ran out of (light) lampoil. I believe it is the Holy Spirit anointing (that lights our way to God and salvation through Christ), with not enough faith to go on.They were drawn back by not having enough. All I know is that we must have Christ as our Holy standard (the same as Moses held up the bronze snake standard in the desert) to constantly focus upon for all our needs, whether healing , protection, or daily bread. And if we are to be persecuted we can follow Christ’s example who prayed not because He needed to, but for our benefit, so we could know how to pray. God provided Stephen with a Holy Spirit message and gave him a vision that carried him through to his death. The plagues that are to come.. well what did God do for the Jews in Egypt? Not a one was bothered were they! Have faith, pray, focus upon Christ, and if persecution comes your way, fear not that which can destroy the body…only that which can harm your souls. My church strongly believes that the great restrainer is born again Christians. There a parable about weed seeds being sewn in with the good crop. God said let them grow together and then separate at the end so no harm comes to the good crop and only the weeds get destroyed. Romans8:38& 39. Nothing can come between us and God! He will care for all His own right until the very end. The very least I could ever do for my Savior is die for Him, He willingly sacrificed His life for me. Revelations 3 talks about those who spread the Word of God being martyred, and those who follow Christ to be persecuted. I have always known this in my heart since I was a very young child even without reading it. Fear will cause a great falling away from their love of Christ among Christians even though it is more their leaders/teachers being killed than them. Many Muslims are Christians in secret, but God knows! Even Christian followers are murdered in Islamic nations. Pray for them! Thise I have met are very very strong in their faith and would willingly die for Christ and not blink an eye to do so.I am so excite to see you say Looking and searching because we all know if we ask our heavenly Father for a piece of bread He won’t give us a stone!
Thanks for this letter. I came across this after seeing David Wilkerson’s warning re the coming tribulation. It’s a encouragement in the midst of my sense of God telling me to be prepared and ready (the 10 virgins). It’s hard that other Christians are not hearing the same thing, but there are others who are. So grateful to know we’re part of the bride of Jesus in preparation. To Him be the glory.
thank you so much. i was blessed and encouraged by my sister in the Lord Jesus Christ, Corrie ten Boom, who went to prison for loving the Jews and experienced a great tribulation in a German concentration camp
Glad you were blessed by the words of Corrie ten Boom. Me too…
Thank you so much pjmiller
I am now more convinced than ever that this article/sermon (below) was not the unprecedented world-wide tribulation and time of trouble spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:21,22 and that which is written Daniel 12:1.
What happened in the first century was indeed a PAST tribulation for believers. What Corie ten Boom wrote about happened in our day and is PRESENT tribulation.Only scripture can interpret scripture,not Ism’s and Ology’s and Ist’s. I want her kind of faith and courage in Jesus,for the world-wide unprecedented FUTURE tribulation.
Thank you again PJ
We in the west, we who have been so tempted with so many delicacies. And now, even now the power’s that be are scheming against those who would proclaim the name of Jesus. Will those who came by another gospel that was so close to the true gospel that if it was at all possible even the very elect would have fallowed it, will they name and claim their way out of tribulation. And others will they give Glory to God for something that is good that they found deep down inside them selves and were able to bring and lay at the feet of God for their salvation with the work that he has provided? I think not!
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
It is refreshing to hear someone admit this.I have been telling friends and neighbors(believers and non believer),and they look at me as if I flew over the cuckoos nest.It also grieves my spirit for those of us that won’t accept that tribulation is here and near,will we be ready.We must be overcomers as the 7 churches were instructed in Revelation.
I saw Linda’s reply and had to add. Stand firm sister! I have been called more that you I am sure. I get avoided because even my own children don’t want to hear about getting ready and preparing. They want to go on like nothing is going on around us. The Scriptures tell us that when Israel becomes a nation again…wasn’t that like over 60 years ago? … that it would be THIS GENERATION that would see the return of Christ. Well generations are 70 years, and we know the tribulation lasts for 7 of those 70 years.It’s over 60 years and counting……… I had one of those vivid dreams last spring that always comes true …that the antichrist was set up in office on about the 21st of April. The antichrist will not have full power until the 3rd year of his reign. Keep reading Revelation 18! In one day a whole nation destroyed, and I tell you it won’t be from might without, but from corruption within. I praise God I found the church of brotherly love! Want to know more about what’s happeing in the world hidden from view.Check out Minnesotansagainstterrorism.org. Get the DVD’s Relentless, Obsession and the ” Third Jihad.” These are fact based DVD’s based upon actual newcasts not someone’s specualtion! Focus on love and Christ and helping one another in Christian love. If we love others as we love ourselves, or even love our enemies, we want them to have the “Good News” of the Gospel! In that there is the peace that passes all understanding. That peace that will see us through all things.
The great tribulation of Matthew 24 was the “not one stone left standing” judgment of Yerushalem in 70 AD. Believers are not appointed to judgment. Believers are not appointed to “the great tribulation”. Do you not know that “the great tribulation” is the very judgment of God? No believer persished in the judgment of God in 70 AD, and no believer will perish in the judgment that is to fall upon the earth shortly. This is a generation of judgment. The great whore will be destroyed in one day and one hour! Again whoever would say believers are in the great tribulation are contrary to Christ. This does in no way take away from the truth, that “the godly in Christ will suffer persecution”. The day of Christ is at hand! The falling away has already occurred! The man of sin, the son of perdition, the false prophet, the antichristos has been revealed! It is he who is most contrary to the very words of Yeshua, “a prophet is not without honor except in his own land.”
I had backslide for a number of years but knew in my heart I was always still a Christian and believe in my salvation through Christ ( yes grace did abound!) How much more so are my blessings now that I am a returned prodigal daughter! Amen! God never left me when I turned away. He sent His only begotten son to die for me, the very least I could ever do for Him is to die for Him. I think the great falling away of the church foretold in Scriptures will be because of persecution and fear. Our young people (and all age levels) need to love Christ as much as He loves us. We need to be prepared mentally, because what I see unfolding before us, all around the globe, is of Biblical eschatological proportions. Please check out Minnesotansagainstterroism.org. Many pentacostal Christians and yes Jews( the lion [of Judah] laying down with the lamb[of God]) worked on this together. If you have the chance, watch the Third Jihad or Obsession or Relentless! All 3 DVD’s are eyeopeners of the persecution to come! They are fact based DVD’s and no speculation. Pray for peace in Jerusalem so Messiah comes quickly, but win as many souls to Christ as possible, it’s easier than one might think. Lots of people want to know for sure and for certain they are going to heaven without a doubt. All it takes is one simple prayer, and believe me they are so very grateful. Pray also we develop the knowledge of how to help gear up our nieve Christian brothers and sisters to put on the whole armor of God and fight the Spiritual battle we are already waged in. God Bless us all who war in the Spirit. Pray for our nations leaders to be guided by the true hand of God. Not going to be persecuted? Read Revelation 6: 9-11, yes WE will be. And that was the fifth seal of the tribulation! There are many theories about when ‘the’ rapture happens. I strongly believe there will be more than one rapture, such as the two Jewish ( Rev. 11:3-13)witnesses for Christ’s second coming which is not at the same time as the Christian’s who are raptured. One rapture is spoken of in Revelation 3:10 and yes some are spared experiencing the tribulation. Is your church 100% like the Philadelphia church? Who are we to say to God what His plan is? If we are here during the tribulation, we need to be prepared and if we are not we need to plant the seed of strong faith for those who turn to God during the tribulation to be prepared. In “any event” we need to be prepared and to help prepare others. Take action fellow Christian’s for the time is short and God’s harvest is about to commence! Better to be prepared than caught unaware. I know we are a mitigating factor(Holy Spirit prayer warriors) in holding back the antichrist’s full power but I myself strongly believe that there has to be just so much prophecy fulfilled before Christ returns, and part of that is the martyrs blood mentioned earlier! God loves us forever. He won’t abandon us. He’ll give us strength the same as He did Stephen and the others who have died for our Christ! Amen.
Hi again. This is an incredible testimony and very revealing of times to come. It was in the year 2004 when the Lord brought me into a greater understanding insofar as when we shall be taken from this present world. We are, at this very moment, seeing the rise of a global beast system and most of the saints are expecting to be raptured out before anything goes down. (so to speak.)
It’s heartbreaking to see so many not preparing spiritually for what lies ahead. (I’m referring to professing Christians) They will take all of the time in the world to set themselves up for retirement or advance their career, but few understand the importance of being prepared for a day when they must either receive a mark or be put to death.
Thanks for making this letter available. Blessings always in Jesus name.
Yes, its an incredible letter and warning to the Church.
This is why i believe a Christian’s eschatology is important. Not saying we have to have it all 100% correct, only that when we become staunchly unmovable in how we view the future fulfilling of prophecy, it can cause us to be taken totally off-guard (and stumble) when everything doesn’t come about exactly as we believe it will.
Its best to be prepared to meet the Lord everyday…
This one of the teaching’s that will cause the “great apostasy”. Pray for the many Christians that will not be able to handle the truth when the heat gets turned up. Many will forsake the Master and stick out their arms for the mark.
Whether I am taken up in a rapture or killed while walking across the street my
soul must be right with the Lord. I have come from a background that put much
emphasis on a rapture. However, the older I become I realize the most important thing I could do is to have a relationsip with Jesus Christ and to serve Him, take up my cross daily for Him and to draw as close to Him as I can
with His help. I have read some of Corrie Ten Boom’s books but, had never read this article. I must admit, I cried as I read this because I do feel we will face persecution in this country contrary to the thoughts of a lot of professing Christians.
If you want to read about martyrdom in today’s world read the book, Miracle of Miracles by Mina Nevisa. People are facing persecution greatly in some of the
African and Middle Eastern countries. Why we Americans think we will escape from this I do not know.
God Bless All
Smart way of observing things – I’m a little more of a monochrome person, myself
Reblogged this on Annals Of Andronicus and commented:
Corrie Ten Boom is a saint of God who is perhaps unkown to many younger christians (those in the under-40 age groups). She endured what can only be derscribed as hell on earth in the Ravensbruck concentration camp during World War II.
Her comments about the importance of developing a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, written some 40 years ago, have never been so relevant as they are today.
I’ve reblogged this post onto my blog because examples such as hers can encourage those of us who are fearful about the future. I’d like to draw particular attention to this part of what she said:
Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am 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.
Notice too the importance she attaches to “preparation”