It had been seven years since Anna discovered the truth; yet it seemed a lifetime ago. A man named Paul had written, as if to Anna personally… “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes… to free and slave, prisoners, and those who suffer.”
Anna had been a long time in grasping that message in her own heart, although she’d suffered much in her young life; a prisoner of her own pain and distrust.
Thankfully, that truth had sustained her as she struggled to survive those horrifying seven years, while she feared that most of those she cared about were lost forever.
Unable to move now, Anna found herself standing between fading memories and the door to eternity. Everything had changed, and only what she had finally come to believe kept her from crumbling, as had so many, into total madness.
“Am I breathing… dying? Am I dead?” she wondered.
The Great Veil
Rising before her was a great, shimmering wall of indescribable dimensions, like an immense veil or theater curtain in the grandest proscenium archway. Suddenly, the veil ripped from top to bottom before her eyes. Anna remembered reading a story about something like this in a Bible, during the past seven years when being found with a copy of that forbidden book threatened imprisonment or worse.
The story told of a devastating incident, long ago. How another mammoth veil in a Hebrew temple had torn violently, right down the middle, as if by unseen hands—as an innocent Man died on a Roman cross. Anna had finally come to know that Man as her life. Now she understood. He was the only way to God—for her, for anyone. God Himself, appearing in human flesh; born to die, to pay for the sins of every person on earth, of all time, in one sacrificial act of grace and forgiveness.
Anna hadn’t let herself believe it before that day—when so many people just disappeared!
Everyone had heard the voice roaring from the heavens then. Like the blast of a great horn, it had shaken them all to their knees. Some recognized the voice instantly, yet they had been too late in taking the prophecy seriously, as unbelief, or their “religion,” had masked the truth. Anna had only covered her ears at the sound, still unwilling to listen. It had all been too incredible for her to believe.
But, people were suddenly gone, and Anna realized she and millions of others were now left behind to face what Jesus Himself had warned of, “For then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred, since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be.”
The Man of Lawlessness Comes
The mysterious book of Revelation told of a “man of lawlessness” called Antichrist, who would rise during the final seven years. Ultimately, it said, he would show himself for who and what he was—Satan incarnate. At first, Anna had listened to this charismatic world leader; captivated by his smooth, persuasive words. But, just as the book had foretold, three and a half years later, he changed; morphed into something hideous in nature. A killing force; vicious and cruel.
“Science is king,” he chanted. “Evolution is truth, and creation is a lie. Your GOD is a lie!”
Then came that day in the new temple; he did the most abominable thing!
“I alone am god!” he declared, as millions watched via satellite around the world. So many had cheered, while others like Anna were terrified, knowing who he really was. The builders of the new temple had finally realized also—and remembered the One they had rejected. Those who could run fled into the desert. After that day, those who wouldn’t bow down to Antichrist’s image were destroyed.
“Do NOT take The Mark, no matter what!” Anna’s best friend Grace had warned her. Grace was one of those who did read that Book, and knew the rewards of taking the Mark—that symbol of allegiance to Antichrist. NOT taking the Antichrist’s “Mark” would mean not being able to buy food or anything else; all privileges taken away. However, taking the Mark had dire, eternal consequences!
One day, Grace had desperately insisted on reading a Bible passage to Anna… “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his Mark on their forehead or on their hand, they shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God… Here is the patience of the saints (believers); those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus the Christ”
Still, Anna had not listened. It had taken the disappearance of her friend and many others to convince her of what had been inconceivable before that day.
Now, seven terrifying years later, endless lines of rescued souls stood silently to her left and right. Waiting. Unable to move, or even to see clearly beyond the veil, they were captive to a seemingly infinite moment in time, before there would be no more.
Standing beneath the great veil, Anna’s mind raced at light speed through what had been her life. Faces of those she had known and loved. But, even as her heart assured her she would soon be with God forever, deep grief swept over her for those who would never go beyond the veil.
The evidence of the disappearances, and a world gone mad around them, had not convinced most of the world that had been too willing to take the Mark. Sadly, those would never realize their dreams or find the love they had sought in anything and anyone, but Christ.
For Anna, it was unbearable to think what waited for them now. “If only they had believed!”
She wept, one last time—her only comfort, remembering what the Book said lay beyond the veil. “For God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither any more pain; for the former things are passed away.”
A Prisoner and Yet..
Anna woke with a start at the sound of the prison bullhorn; her heart still racing. The veil was gone now. The images she had dreamed about in such detail had been prompted by Corrie and Betsie ten Boom’s nightly readings in Barracks 28, from a small, smuggled Bible. The Tribulation had not yet happened; but now she understood, it would certainly come.
Too early for daylight to show through the dirt-encrusted windows, Anna and hundreds of other women were crammed into a space meant to house much fewer people. Yet only their closeness kept most from freezing to death in the icy winter of Northern Germany. Women, Jews and Gentiles of many countries and languages, were forced to lie in filthy, flea-infested bunks, hoping a Nazi guard would not call their name, one final time.
Now fully awake, Anna was relieved to be alive, even in Ravensbruck prison. There was still time, however short, to comfort others with the hope of heaven beyond this place. She and the other women would likely never leave Ravensbruck alive.
Night after night, Corrie and Betsie had read scripture to give that hope to all the women. The images Anna had dreamed about had once frightened and confused her, not having understood John’s vision, told of in the Revelation, was the kindest warning Christ had given His beloved apostle—to be delivered to any of us who might believe and be spared what was going to come.
Love, After All
But, it wasn’t the fear of the Revelation’s horrible images of the end times that caused Anna or others to trust Christ as Savior. It was those other passages they read each night—about God’s mercy and forgiveness. It was His willing sacrifice on that cross for Anna and all mankind, if they could only believe. His resurrection promised victory even over death, and new life forever with Him.
God’s amazing and sacrificial LOVE was what won Anna’s heart! “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8 proclaimed. And “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends,” says John 15:13. He was Anna’s Friend!
In 1944, Corrie and Betsie ten Boom risked their own lives reading from that smuggled Bible, to the women in Barracks 28. It was ones like Anna, although a fictional character here, who listened and believed the readings from God’s word each night, who found hope, strength and true freedom, even in prison.
On those dark nights, with death so close, some might have wondered if that man in Germany, Adolf Hitler, was the long-prophesied Antichrist. After all, his twisted ideology had caused them and so many others to be captive there. Time would prove otherwise.
However, the ancient prophecy, found in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, remains a serious, yet merciful warning to any who would find ultimate victory over this world, beyond the veil, through faith in Jesus Christ—Yahshua, the Messiah!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but that the world, through Him, might be saved” … John 3:16-17
~ ~ ~[Ravensbruck was a Nazi Concentration Camp where more than 100,000 women, Jews and others, were exterminated during World War 2]
Scripture references include: Rom. 1:16, Matthew 24:21, Rev. 14:9-12, Rev. 21:4.