The Stage Is Nearly Set :: by Grant Phillips

I marvel at the workings of our God. He said in the book of Isaiah, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

Everything He said that would occur in the last days prior to His return, is happening exactly as He said it would, and His chosen people Israel, is the hub of it all. That He has preserved Israel, scattered her, kept her national identity, and now brought her back as a nation, and prospered her, is a jaw dropper in and of itself.

Just as amazing, is how He has meticulously set the stage for everything to come together in these last days. This can be easily seen when we realize just what transpired in the year 1948 and other years in close proximity. The State of Israel was founded May 14, 1948, and as previously mentioned, Israel is the key element. Notice below just how many beginnings there were in the mid to late forties alone. (By the way, I’m sure many of you can come up with several others that I have not listed.) Some of these “may” seem inconsequential, but I do not believe that is the case.

1920          American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) founded

1945          The United Nations (U.N.) replaced of The League of Nations

1945          The atomic age began with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

1946          The Atomic Energy Commission was created.

1946          Xerographic photocopying process was invented.

1947          The Truman Doctrine (aid to countries whose governments are threatened with overthrow)

1947          India and Pakistan proclaimed independent nations

1947          First airplane to break the speed of sound

1947          The transistor invented at Bell Laboratories

1947          Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) founded

1947          Holography invented

1947          Doomsday Clock invented by scientists

1948          The Marshall Plan (giving aid to 16 European countries)

1948          Foundation of the State of Israel

1948          Communists take over Czechoslovakia

1948          Organization of American States founded (human rights)

1948          First flight of first commercial jet airliner

1948          World Council of Churches formed

1948          U.N. adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1948          World Health Organization (WHO) founded

1949          Communists forces gain power in China (nationalists flee to Taiwan)

1949          North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) established

1949          Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb

1949          Israel admitted to the U.N.

1949          Lucky Lady (U.S. Air Force) completes first non-stop around-the-world flight

1949          Electron microscopy developed

1949          Council of Europe formed

1950          National Council of Churches formed

1958          European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and European Economic Community (EEC) formed by six European countries (the beginnings of the European Union, as known today)

The ACLU was founded 28 years prior to Israel being founded as a State, but I think that was probably necessary to have plenty of time to infect several generations with their poisonous venom of lies, and bring us to the state we are in today. All the others are within two to three years!

This can be no accident. Nor is it a coincidence. Our Lord Jesus is clearly gathering the world to the final scene, as the symphony conductor leads each piece of the orchestra to the grand finale of the musical composition. Maybe we need to consider Isaiah 55:11 once more, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (NASB)

The naysayers can ridicule and laugh all they like, but God’s Word will not come back unto Him void. The world can swim in its indignation of the Truth if it so chooses, but God’s Word will be fulfilled to the letter. Only a fool could look at these dates and not see the hand of God moving among them.

Allow me to go further. It is interesting that Jerusalem came under Israeli

control for the first time in 2,500 years on June 6, 1967, and the

following occurred in that same time period (not an exhaustive listing of course):

1963          American Atheist founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair (pushed separation of church and state)

1963          Murray vs. Curlett resulting in Supreme Court decision (8-1) that year which made it unconstitutional for school sponsored Bible reading in public schools

1967          Israel defeats Arabs in Six Day War

1967          First Super Bowl

1967          First heart transplant (by Dr. Christian Bernard)

1967          First celebration of Earth Day

1967          First broadcast of Sesame Street

1967          Jerusalem became Israel’s capital

Again, some “may” seem inconsequential, but I think each plays its own part in what we have become today, and where we are in this period of time.

Many others have noticed this phenomenon also. So, I am certainly not the first, nor will I be the last to notice God’s hands all over history. Any student of prophecy has probably noticed this trend in their beginning studies of prophecy.

Every time in history that God has brought down judgment on a nation or even an individual, He has provided plenty of warnings. In just the observance of these dates alone, He has taken out the crayons, and colored in the pictures. Even those who may be weak in their understanding of prophecy must ask themselves, “How can this be?”

Why are these two crucial dates, Israel’s statehood (1948) and Israel’s control of Jerusalem (1967), surrounded by so many other very important dates that have formed the modern world we live in today? These other dates have formed our economy, our world view, our spiritual apostasy, our playtime, our interests, our families, our government, our acceptance of lies and rejection of Truth, our view of Israel, our acceptance of false gods and false religions, our view of sin, our emphasis in all that is worldly, our criminal behavior, our technology, our travel, our knowledge, and we could go on and on. In other words, they all have their part in advancing the world to its climax, the return of Jesus Christ.

Who would have ever thought, just a few years ago, that this world we now live in would be so drastically changed, and not for the better I might add?

Who would have dreamed that our nation would ever turn its back on the “apple of God’s eye”, Israel? Not only have we turned our back on her, we are openly opposed to Israel and now support her enemies. May God help us! To me, this is the most frightening thing of all. As I have already stated, Israel is the hub of the wheel of prophesy. Her enemies are ready to pounce, and we now number among them. I am not frightened for myself, because I rest in our Lord’s protection. However, I am frightened for those who “skip-to-my-lou” through life, totally oblivious to an imminent judgment upon this world, a hell on earth that is surely soon about to happen.

I occasionally receive emails from those who “chastise” me for believing in the Rapture (or snatching away) of the Church prior to the Tribulation. It seems that when I mention the “R” word, here they come to set me on the “right” path. After all the folderol of the likes of Harold Camping, et al, it’s no wonder the Rapture has such a “bad name” among so many people. I believe wholeheartedly however, that the rapture of the church prior to the Tribulation will happen, but when God is ready. He said He is coming back for His bride (the Church), and then the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (the Tribulation) will begin.

Some think that too much is said about end times prophecy and not enough about evangelism. I believe both are important. I am also convinced that those who look deeper into last days prophecies, are much more keen about evangelizing than those who do not, because they see the urgency of the times we are in. Speaking for myself, I speak of the Rapture and what follows because I would like to see people come to Jesus now, instead of facing the horrors of the Tribulation period. I feel confident that all of us who speak of the Rapture and the Tribulation period on “Rapture Ready” feel the same way. None of us want to see anyone go through the Tribulation, but to the contrary, enjoy the reunion with our Savior when He comes for us at the Rapture.

Nevertheless, let us return to the dates. They are there before us … cold hard facts. Why has most everything else had its beginning around the same times that Israel was founded as a State (1948) and took control of Jerusalem (1967)? Think about it. There can be only one conclusion. God has been on stage, behind the curtain, setting the props for the curtain to open. The orchestra is warming up. The actors are ready. The audience is seated. The last scene of history is about to begin. When? Again, I do not know, but it could be much sooner than we think.

Very few will take heed. Most will laugh off everything that has been said. Some may listen just long enough to say, “I’ll think about that later”. Well, think about this. There are no signs for the Rapture of the Church. All the signs we are seeing are in preparation for the Tribulation which follows the Rapture. If we are seeing so many preparation signs for the Tribulation, and the Rapture precedes it, how close could it be for our Savior’s return for His bride? How close could it be for His judgment to be poured out upon the world? Don’t be one of those who waited too long.

I have been working on this article, off and on, since prior to leaving for vacation. My wife and I just returned, and now I would like to conclude with this observation. While on vacation we noticed something that reminded me of Jesus’ outstretched arms beckoning us to come to Him. A child, about eight or nine years old, had strayed from her parents and become lost. A couple brought the child to the life guard at our station. Within a few moments, a police vehicle arrived with her father. As the life guard was leading the child toward the police vehicle, she recognized her father and ran to him. It was a “magic moment” reunion for both parent and child. Both were so very happy to be reunited.

Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Sometimes, we lose our way among all the hubbub of the world around us. For those who are His sheep He says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27) To both, those who are not His sheep and those who are His sheep, He says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

We read concerning the “prodigal son” the following; “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)

And Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

The Lord God Almighty is showering this world with signs of His soon return. We Christians need to be ready, working while it is day, but all the while looking up for His soon return. Far too many others need to come to Him for forgiveness of sins, through His sacrificial death and empty grave. He holds out His arms as the father that found his child.

If you are His child, and you have allowed the world’s distractions to keep you from your Father’s business, go to Him now. He is waiting with outstretched arms. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

If you are not His child, you can be, but you must come to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. His arms are also outstretched for you. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Sometimes God speaks in a still, small voice, and sometimes He speaks like a trumpet. I can’t imagine all the signs from God we see around us today being classified as a still small voice.

Grant Phillips

Pre-Rapture Commentary