“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Luke 21:23-24.
Gentiles would occupy Jerusalem until their game is up. In the Old Testament God had just two races of people on earth, namely, the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews were in covenant with God, but the Gentiles were not. The Times of the Gentiles could be viewed in two perspectives; that is, their political power and their election into the Covenant and Kingdom of God. Each of these two views was presented by Jesus and Paul respectively.
The Times of the Gentiles is a period in history when the Gentile nations have the authority, rule and control of the earth, including having influence over the Jews, and could determine to a large extent the fortune of the Jewish nation. When Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the Times of the Gentiles were fulfilled, He was referring to the political power of the Gentile nations, which would enable them have almost complete control on earth and showcase their military, financial, technological and creative might. These political powers were shown to Daniel.
Daniel chapters 2, 7-11 and Rev.17 described different Gentile world powers which included; Egyptian Empire, Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Medio-Persian Empire, Grecian Empire, Pagan Roman Empire and Papal Roman Empire. Each of these Gentile super powers made marks on Israel; they persecuted, destroyed or were used to favour Israel or Jerusalem. When Jesus Christ was ministering on earth the Pagan Roman Empire was in power, and Jerusalem was under tribute. The Jews were expecting a political Messiah, who would liberate them and they wanted to make Jesus King. But Jesus escaped because He knew it was not yet time. Jerusalem, the City of God, was brought under the control of heathen nations because of the sins of the Children of Israel and because it was the Times of the Gentiles.
When Israel sinned against God, it was the Gentile powers God used to discipline His chosen race. Authority rested on the Gentile governments and God used them to scourge His chosen race, the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar was called God’s servant; and Pharaoh-Neco was sent on an errand by God.
“After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. 21But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: ‘What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.’ 22But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo.“ (2Chron.35:20-22).
The flags of the nations.
During this period, Israel has suffered the worst massacre, dispossessed of their land, oppressed in every nation and hated by the world. It is the time of the Gentiles! If Josiah were not a God-fearing king it would have been easier to assume that his sin betrayed him. But, he was one of the best kings of Judah. His down fall was because he did not realize that God could also use Gentile kings.
America, Europe and the United Nations could have authority to decide the future of Jerusalem just because it is the times of the Gentiles. In their defiance to God their solution would be the division of Jerusalem, and God would allow it for a while. Rev.11:1-2, “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2But the court which is outside the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”
Why would certain part of Jerusalem be conceded to the Gentiles? Why would the United Nations share Jerusalem between the Jews and the Arabs? Or, would the United Nations vote to make a part of Jerusalem an international city that neither belongs to the Jews nor the Arabs? It is because the Gentiles are in power.
The Arab nations could pose such a huge threat to Israel because the Gentiles are in power. Israel shall suffer the worst persecution ever, and would be almost wiped off the map in a nuclear fallout, probably in this decade, just because it is the times of the Gentiles. The history of the Gentile world powers was told by Daniel in Daniel chapters 2-12. When the last Gentile world empire is defeated Daniel wrote,
“During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. “ (Dan.2:44).
The last Gentile world empire shall be conquered by Jesus Himself, when He returns the second time. It would be the reign of the Antichrist and his false prophet. And that would be the end of the Gentile world rule.
The election of the Gentiles is another way of describing the Times of the Gentiles. This aspect has to do with the calling of the Gentiles to salvation. It describes a time when God turns His back on Israel so that He might redeem some from the Gentile race. That is why some Bible teachers believe that the times of the Gentiles began when the gospel moved to the Gentiles. Paul was an Apostle to the Gentiles and he wrote, “Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them. They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God’s Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum.” (Rom.15:18-19).
In Romans chapter 11, Apostle narrated how the Jews were cut off and the Gentile Church was engrafted.
“You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (Rom.11:19-24).
Did you notice those words? Broken off, grafted in, cut off, grafted in! If one branch needed to be broken off for another branch to stand, impliedly both branches are mutually exclusive, that is, one occupies the place of the other, and both cannot stand together at the same time. That means, God would not deal with both the Jews and the Gentiles at the same time. This is why some Bible scholars believe that the Times of the Gentiles started when the Gentile Christians were engrafted into the Commonwealth of Israel. But the beginning of the times of the Gentiles, in terms of their political rule, preceded this.
While the end of the political authority of the Gentile kingdoms would end when Jesus destroys the last world empire, captures and imprisons the Antichrist and his false prophet; the end of the Times of the Gentiles in terms of the gospel would be the translation of the Gentile Bride stated in 1Thes.4:13-18,
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”
The saints are like the salt of the earth; God’s treasure in this corrupt world. They are the light of the world and the reason for the preservation of the earth. When they are taken away, judgment falls.
There is an end to this period called, “The Times of the Gentiles” and that end is near. The last Gentile world power would be composed of ten blocks of nations that Daniel saw as ten toes. “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Dan.2:41-44.
When you see this last world empire taking shape, you do not need a prophet to tell you that, this empire would witness the return of Jesus Christ. You can proclaim it with all certainty.
The Times of the Gentiles would climax with the most brutal rule ever seen on the face of the earth. The vileness of man would be in shameless display. The saints of God they would corrupt and wear out. The God of heaven they would revile and His will they would disdain. That last Gentile government is taking shape already.
God has not been silent. Jesus said, “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” Luke 21:25-26.
Celestial upheavals! The solar system would be out of order. Weather would be chaotic and unpredictable. There would be revolts, riots, unrests and agitations in the nations. Scientists would know that something catastrophic is about to happen; geologists would issue warnings of geological calamities; businessmen would sense a major financial collapse in the horizon; the citizenry would not be at ease as they would know that a major problem, beyond the capacity of their government to cope, is about to hit the earth.
Man shall be made to account for his misrule of the earth. The blood of the righteous that have been shed on earth shall speak against the earth, and God would mete out due retribution to the kings of the earth and all those who live on the earth. The human lease of the earth is over. Jesus takes over. Rev.11:15, “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’”
There would be a transition from human to Divine governance. In that new Kingdom, the ungodly shall not be there. It would be the rule and reign of righteousness. The earth shall be once again, what God had wanted it to be, a place for sons of God who walk in the fear of God.
In the meantime, let us not be so engrossed in the affairs of this life as to forget that the earth is on lease. “But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.” (1Cor.7:29-31). If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, do not delay. You may not have that opportunity any more. Invite Jesus into your life today and receive Him as your Lord and personal Saviour. If you have already given your life to Jesus Christ, it is the time to live for God. Do not let the pressures of this life distract you from the life you have been called to, the life that pleases God. Hold on, keep firm, Jesus is coming soon.
If you would like to receive our articles regularly, like our Facebook page so that you can get our articles delivered straight into your news feed. Do you have prayer requests? Visit our website and leave your prayer request. We would be waiting to hear from you.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father..." (John 14:12).