Writing to the Corinthians Paul advised believers to get their priorities straight. The reason being “the time left is reduced.” Thus, those doing business and making use of the world were advised to not make use of the world to the full. Why? Because “the scene of this world is changing.” (1 Cor. 7:31)
It is unclear how the system was changing in Paul’s day other than the obvious impact that Christianity was having on the Greco-Roman civilization. The New World Translation marginal reference states:
The Greek word here rendered “scene” refers to the “fashion” or “form” of something, the “present scheme of things.” Paul may have been alluding to the theater of his day, comparing this world to a stage where scenes are changing and the actors pass quickly on and off the stage.
In his same letter to the Corinthians Paul used that very analogy, saying that it seemed to him that the apostles were on exhibition, as on a stage: “We have become a theatrical spectacle to the world, and to angels and to men.” — 1 Cor. 4:9
The appearance of a man who gave evidence that he had come down from heaven changed the world. Jesus Christ really took centerstage. Even the Devil and his demons knew that Jesus was the Son of God. Their attacks upon him were the long-awaited direct conflict between the serpent and the promised offspring of God. All the angels of heaven were keen to see the outcome.
Paul and his fellow apostles came on the stage as committed followers of the one who not only obtained victory over death but who also ascended into heaven from where he had come. Every one of the apostles saw Jesus after Jehovah had brought him back from the Grave. (Except, of course, the son of destruction who betrayed his Lord with a tender kiss on the cheek.) And they were eyewitnesses to Christ’s dramatic ascension into the heavens. (Although Paul did not witness the ascension he had the extraordinary experience of encountering Christ after he had become immortal.) So, the life and ministry of the apostles and other anointed Christians were a spectacle in the sense that onlookers—both human and spirit—were intently interested in the power of faith.
The world has changed in many ways over the 20 centuries since Jesus and the apostles were on the main stage. Jesus’ exit from the stage may seem like the end of the drama. It was not. In drama there is always a final scene—oftentimes a dramatic ending. Indeed, the heavenly Writer of the divine script has revealed there is to be a momentous, climactic conclusion. The long-departed Son of God is destined to return to the stage. No one will be able to ignore or dismiss his presence. True, the timing for the beginning of the final scene is secret. No one knows the day or hour when the curtain will rise. It will be a surprise. That is why it is called the unveiling, otherwise known as the revelation. Certainly, the time left is reduced.
Although Paul is no longer a theatrical spectacle the apostle’s words live on. That is because God’s word is alive. That being true, it is as though the apostle lives too. In fact, Paul spoke of himself as being alive when the curtain on the final scene is raised when he said “We the living who survive to the presence of the Lord.”
Jesus assured his disciples that he would be with them all the days until the conclusion. The Lord also stated where even two believers are gathered in his name he is in their midst. So, we could say that Jesus has been invisibly present among his followers since the opening scene. Surely the “presence of the Lord” must be something dramatically different than his being with his disciples prior to the beginning of the conclusion.
Jesus, in fact, presented a preview, a sneak peek—a trailer if you will—of what his presence will involve. It is called the Transfiguration, which Peter explained was a foregleam of Christ’s presence, of which Peter, along with James and John, were eyewitnesses. They were not eyewitnesses to an invisible display. How could they have been? They saw Jesus in his glory—the glory he will reveal during his presence.
Not everyone will see the glorious manifestation of the Son of God. Only those chosen beforehand were privileged to see Jesus after he returned from the dead. No unbelievers were permitted to see the resurrected Lord of lords. So it is, only the chosen ones will be eyewitnesses of the presence of the Lord. And just as Peter was an eyewitness to the Transfiguration and afterward gave testimony of his experience on the mountain with Jesus, so too, those who will see Jesus will become witnesses of his presence. How could they not announce Christ’s presence? Will that not make for a dramatic conclusion to the divine drama?
The Devil has tried to rewrite the script. His actors in the charade pretend that the curtain has already gone up on the concluding scene and they portray the presence of the Lord as anticlimactic and really not very interesting or even worth watching. But the Director has indicated otherwise and has advised us to stay in expectation for the curtain call of the grand finale.
As for the scene or stage of this world-changing, never has that been more dramatic than now. The 20th century has been called the American Century. Particularly since the end of the last world war, the Anglo-American dual power has dominated the world. But there is now a sudden change taking place. The Anglo empire is in decay. It is bankrupt, and not just financially—but intellectually, morally, and spiritually. There is a new power center emerging in the Russia-China alliance. Nations that have been forced into servitude to the Anglo monetary system are being offered a way out and they are accepting the offer. There must be a decisive war between the two rival blocs. It is even so written.
Unknown to most, a covert coup has taken place. No, not in some far away Third World, but in the United States—formerly the leading nation of the world. The government of the people, by the people and for the people has been taken over by backstage actors. So far it has been a bloodless coup. It will not remain so when the population wakes up to the fact their nation has been stolen. It doesn’t matter who the thieves are or that they rigged the last presidential election. Nor does it matter that the current president is a puppet. Everyone knows this to be true. There will probably not be another election. It doesn’t matter because the time left is reduced. The thieves are doing God’s work.
America served its purpose. God made America great. Yes, God blessed America. But that is over. It was an important prelude to the final scene. Just take note that the nation that was founded by devout Christians, whose currency states “In God We Trust,” whose president once publicly acknowledged that God created all men equal, has come to resemble the iniquitous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And they are celebrating sheer perversity and call it Pride. Obviously, Christian America is over. It served its purpose. So has the Watchtower. And now it is time for the tyrants to serve as Jehovah’s punishing agents.
Certainly, the stage is set. The lights are dimming. The curtain is about to go up on the final scene—the grand finale when Christ takes center stage once again. The horses are rearing and snorting fire. The four horsemen are ready to charge.