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ARTICLE

"THE STAGE IS SET, THE CURTAIN IS ABOUT TO RISE" - By Don Hill


While soft music plays, the anxious crowd sits in the semi-darkness facing the purple curtain. Behind the curtain, unseen hands move quickly putting props in place and setting the stage. Finally as the lights come on, the curtain rises. The drama begins.

We are told in Galatians 4:4 "... in the fullness of time God sent forth his Son..." What does it mean when it says "in the fullness of time?" It means when everything was ready. Some things had to be in place - the stage had to be set - before the Son of God could come and the gospel age begin.

First the Hebrews had to give us the Old Testament scriptures. Then the Greeks had to give us the Greek language in which the New Testament was to be written. By the time Jesus was born, Greek was spoken and read widely thoughout the then known world. Finally, the Romans had to build the great highways linking the cities over which the apostles would travel preaching the gospel.

For centuries, man had waited in the semi-darkness having only the Old Testament and the promise of better things to come. Finally, the stage was set! The lights came on and the curtain rose; the cry of a babe in the manger introduced man to the new act in the drama of redemption.

Once again God is setting the stage. In Titus 2:13, it says we are "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorous appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ". Some things must be in place before the Son of God can return.

Jesus declared in Mark 13:10, "And the gospel must first be published among all nations". The original word translated published here could also be rendered preached or proclaimed. Even now the gospel is being preached to the uttermost parts of the earth thanks to the tremendous breakthroughs in science and technology God has given us in recent decades. International jet travel, new printing methods, radio, television and the WWW are being used to preach the gospel to the nations.

We read in Revelation 11:1-11 that during the tribulation period two of God's faithful witnesses will be slain in Jerusalem and the world will see their bodies laying in the streets of the city for three and a half days. How could the world possibly see this? It would not have been possible a hundred years ago, but now it is possible by means of television. This modern technology had to be in place before Jesus could come to catch away His church and the tribulation begin on earth.

In Revelation 13:16-18 we find that an evil dictator will arise after the church is taken. This man is called the "antichrist" in 1 John 4:3 which means two things. First, he will stand in the place of Christ. He will be a false Christ or false Messiah. Second, he will be against Christ opposing His Kingdom. He will demand that the whole world worship him. Every person will be forced to receive a mark in the right hand or forehead to show that he (or she) is now a citizen of the one world government which is the new world order! Without the mark, they will not be able to buy or sell! The mark may contain the person's Social Insurance Number. But according to Revelation, it will definitely include the personal identification number of this man the Blble calls "the beast" which is 666.

Before the rapture of the church could take place and the tribulation begin, there had to be the means whereby every person remaining on earth could quickly receive this strange mark. It will be more than a tatoo. It will be a way of identifying the individual - not only showing that the person has pledged allegiance to the beast to become a member of his kingdom. It will be satan's seal of ownership proving that the individual belongs to him forever. It will also be a tracking device making it possible for the rulers of the united world government to locate every person on earch. There will literally be no place to hide.

How close are we to that day? The technology is already in place. Worldly companies are using what is called the microchip for both identification and tracking purposes. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice. It is an implantable transponder composed of biocompatible glass. Each transponder can be implanted with its own unique identification number. It can be injected under the skin. The chip transmits the identification number to a screen when the person is scanned with a computer wand or passes his or her hand over or under a scanner. A company by the name of Destron in the United States is a pioneer in the production of microchips and a major player in the field. Other companies are moving in and as the demand increases, the industry will grow. Competitive profit driven companies will improve the product. It is not hard to imagine it being mass produced.

In recent years, thousands of domestic and farm animals in the United States and Canada have been implanted with microchips. Law enforcement is beginning to realize the advantage of having sex offenders implanted to monitor their whereabouts. Wealthy families whose children are at risk of kidnapping are considering the microchip for tracking them. Health care providers know it may have a role in monitoring Alzheimers patients who have a tendency to get lost. The manufacturers and owners of expensive cars are discussing the practicality of having their cars implanted to prevent theft! It would be any car thief's nightmare. The product will be available in sufficient quantities when the time comes for worldwide use.

Incredible pressure will be placed upon those who have missed the rapture to receive the mark. It will be more mandatory than our present social insurance number. Without it, they will not be able to transact business, get a job or secure a passport. They will not qualify for any government benefit or pension because they are not citizens of the united world government. Yet only those who worship the antichrist will be able to receive the mark. What a price they will pay for rejecting Christ during this church age!

Once people receive the mark, their doom is forever sealed. John, on the Isle of Patmos saw in a prophetical vision, the damnation of all those who worship the beast. In Revelation 14:11 he wrote, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever received the mark of his name."

The antichrist cannot seize control of planet earth until Christ has taken His church. Why is this? It is because the Holy Spirit in us makes us "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" and He is hindering, restraining and holding back the evil one: In 2 Thessalonians 2:7, we read "... he who now hinders will hinder, until he is taken out of the way." The next verse says "then shall that wicked (one) be revealed..."

My friend, if Jesus came today, would you be ready to meet Him? Only those who are ready will be taken. Every one else will be left to face the tribulation. You can prepare now by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. What must we do? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" Believe it! Make it personal. Believe He died for YOU. His death on the cross at Calvary paid the penalty for YOUR sins and purchased YOUR salvation. Acts 16:31 says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,..." Invite Christ into your heart. He promises, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me."

The stage is set. The curtain is about to rise. The next act will soon begin as clouds of divine judgment break over the nations. Those who are saved have nothing to fear. Our future will be joyful beyond all description. For us it will be played out in the heavens. We are told in Colossians 3:4, "When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory."

Let all who look for "hasten"
The joyful coming day
By earnest consecration
To walk the narrow way;
By gathering in the lost ones
For whom our Lord did die,
For the crowning day that's coming
By and by



PASTORS DON & SARAH HILL
Office: 705-325-8964
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 523, Orillia, Ontario Canada L3V 6K2
Website Address: www.livinghopeministries.ca
Email: PastorHill@livinghopeministries.ca


Email Pastor Don Hill







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