Preparing for Persecution
Berit Kjos
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."  
Tertullian, 1st century AD


On a cold drizzly day in early 1998, I took a sobering tour through the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. A picture of a Gestapo officer brought back memories of the Nazi soldiers that guarded our neighborhood in Norway during World War II. Young as I was -- I was born in Oslo early in the war -- I will never forget the piercing air raids, the thundering war planes, our hiding place in the basement, and the sounds of exploding bombs and fires around us.

My young father was part of the "Hjemme Fronten" (the Home Front) -- an underground army of loyal Norwegians who would rather die than submit to Nazi tyranny. Caught helping other brave soldiers escape into neutral Sweden, he endured hunger, torture, and the threat of death in three concentration camps before his release at the end of the war. Through the years of oppression, we all learned to treasure our freedom.

The Norwegian people hadn't known tyranny until the Nazi warships sailed up the Oslofjord on April 9, 1940. Overnight, Hitler's fascism replaced liberty, and trusted friends became foes. Resistance to the new ideology could cost our lives. Yet, how could we submit to evil and betray our king?

We couldn't! For most Norwegians, the choice was clear. Unlike Hitler's masses, we hadn't been weakened by years of ceaseless propaganda, slogans, service, and celebrations dedicated to the triumph of National Socialism.

My journey through the Holocaust museum began in the section dedicated to Nazi propaganda. Pausing by each display, I was startled by words that could so easily describe America today. The quotes brought stark reminders that, apart from God, human nature doesn't change with time. Nor do the aims of the spiritual mastermind behind the scenes who has always sought ways to stir hatred toward God's people. One tactic was simply to provide nice-sounding alternatives to biblical loyalty and service.

"Individuals were urged to sacrifice themselves for a greater 'People's Community,'" announced one of the displays. Such slogans must have sounded good to the masses, for few saw the cruel manipulation behind the noble words.

I thought of President Clinton's calls for "sacrifice", "service, "unity", "common values", "civil society," and "safe" communities. How many people today see the ominous new meanings behind these nice sounding words?

Another display stated that-

"elementary schools became forums of public indoctrination.

"The Gestapo gathered much of its information from private citizens. Even children were taught to report on their parents. The Gestapo's main sources, however, were Nazi party officials. who constantly monitored the activities of all citizens [and] used such information to track political opponents."

If you have read our articles, you know that America's leaders are using intrusive surveys, assessments, and classroom encounter groups to persuade children to divulge private information about their family's faith, values, disciplines, and church attendance. As in Nazi Germany, socialization, not academic learning, has become the primary goal of education. Children are learning the group thinking and socialist values needed for the envisioned 21st century communities and global workforce.

Do you find this hard to believe? Many do. That's why we urge you to read some of our articles that document the "paradigm shift" from American individualism and freedom to collectivism and control. Just go to our "articles" page and find the following reports that will help you and your loved ones understand and prepare for the growing hostility toward biblical Christianity:

Remember, the new set of global values, based on a blend of earth-centered beliefs, socialist ideology, and globalist goals, rule out biblical boundaries and absolutes. Genuine Christianity simply won't fit.

Our political, legal and education systems have been infiltrated by leaders who have betrayed America for a hollow vision of a global village. Hollywood has taught our children to delight in evil, while schools immerse them in pagan rituals to other gods. Many church leaders are ashamed to mention sin and the cross, and most "Christians" are drifting with the trends, too distracted to know or care.

We shouldn't be surprised. Again and again, the Old Testament shows our natural inclination to drift toward apathy, compromise, rebellion, and paganism -- anything but God Himself. It's happening in America, and 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 tells us that we are not immune to consequences like those that destroyed ancient Israel. Did we forget?

God told us repeatedly what would happen to a nation that that refuses to follow its Shepherd. Listen to this warning and see how it fits our times:
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Be careful that you do not forget... Otherwise... your heart will become proud.... You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' ... If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods... you will surely be destroyed." Deuteronomy 8:10-20

Having left their Father's protection, God's beloved Israel faced famine, war, slavery, and oppression. When they cried out to God, He restored them, but their peace and prosperity didn't last long. Soon the cycle of apathy, compromise, rebellion and oppression began once again.

God may withdraw His protection from a nation that turns to other gods, but He never fails to guard and guide those who remain faithful to Him. He doesn't promise to save us from pain and persecution, but in the midst of suffering we can count on His strength and loving presence.

Remember, "the whole world is under the control of the evil one" [1 John 5:19]. Satan's subjects will always despise our King, twist His truth, and hate His people. Why should we not expect opposition?

Jesus described the normal Christian life: "If they persecute Me, they will also persecute you," He told His disciples, "for they do not know Him who sent me." John 15:20-21

We need to take His warning to heart, count the cost of discipleship, and pray to be prepared for inevitable battles. Prayerfully consider these steps -- as a family or as an individual believer:

  1. Pray for His guidance.

  2. Learn from those who suffered persecution because of their faith. (See "victory" at the top) 

  3. Memorize His Word, the victorious "Sword of the Spirit" in every battle we face. (See Clothed with Truth)

  4. Memorize hymns and songs that enable you to keep praising Him and affirming His victory.

  5. Silently practice singing to Him in the midst of all kinds of distractions.

  6. Practice giving thanks in all circumstances.

  7. By His wonderful grace, "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." Matthew 5:44-45

"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged." Hebrew 12:1-3

Those who choose uncompromising discipleship will find an unspeakable joy in His nearness. Stephen did. (See Acts 7) Remember how his face shone as his persecutors hurled the stones that crushed his body. Like him, we may demonstrate to a needy world the overcoming power of the majestic, heavenly King who reached down to earth to love us like a Father.

When I was little, I loved our Norwegian king. Like him, I wanted to be brave enough to die rather than surrender. Years later I learned that this wonderful leader was nothing compared to my heavenly King. Yet my earthly king and the years of war, danger, and deprivation gave me a vision of genuine Christianity that I continue to treasure. I saw that we, His bride and Church, are like a nation of loyal subjects -

  • who love and obey their King

  • who discover in their common devotion and warfare a fellowship that can rarely be found apart from persecution

  • who refuse to compromise, and

  • who persevere until death -- or until the war is won.

To sustain us through the battles ahead, our King gave us many precious promises. Few bring me more delight than the following words from our Master. May they fill you with joy at the unspeakable privilege of serving our sovereign King, following in His footsteps, and sharing His resurrection life for all eternity.

"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven." Luke 6:22-23



"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... If they persecuted Me they will persecute you... for they do not know the One who sent Me."  John 15:19-21

"...the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me." John 16:2-3

"Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved." Mark 13:10-12

"...the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." 1 John 5:19

"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake."  Matthew 24:9

"You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." Matthew 10:18-22

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life." 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24

"...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed... perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed  —  always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

"Just as they have chosen their own ways,

And their soul delights in their abominations,

So will I choose their delusions and bring their fears on them;

Because when I called, no one answered,

When I spoke they did not hear;

But they did evil before My eyes

And chose that in which I do not delight."

Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His Word;

Your brethren who hated you,

Who cast you out for My name's sake, said,

'Let the Lord be glorified that we may see your joy,'

But they shall be ashamed." Isaiah 66:4-5


"O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded;
You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.
I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me.
For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, 'Violence and plunder!'
Because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily.
Then I said, 'I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.'
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.
For I heard many mocking: 'Fear on every side!'
'Report,' they say, 'and we will report it!'
All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying,
“Perhaps he can be induced; then we will prevail against him,
And we will take our revenge on him.”
But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One.
Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail." 
Jeremiah 20:7-11

"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven." Luke 6:22-23


"Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.  For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother." Luke 12:51-53


 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are

       hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed...

       perplexed, but not in despair

       persecuted, but not forsaken;

       struck down, but not destroyed

— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. " 2 Corinthians 2:7-10

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever." 1 Peter 5:8

"And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
       "But the angel said to me, 'Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.  The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."
Revelation 17:5-8

"And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 

        "So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?' And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:1-8

"After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.'"  Revelation 7:1-4