The times of the Gentiles



Daniel 2:31–36 Phillips

This king Nebuchadnezzar had subdued all of his foes.

His empire appeared invincible

He had built a virtually impregnable fortress-city on the Euphrates

His dynasty contained two of the seven celebrated wonders of the ancient world.

He was now at rest.

But Nebuchadnezzar was no fool.

He knew that other empires had arisen to rule over other nations

He knew in time these empires themselves had fallen.

The Assyrian Empire had just fallen.

He wondered what would be the fate of his own empire.

What other empires would arise from the dust of the earth

to dominate the nations of the world?

Would any empire be greater than his?

Then God spoke to Him in a dream

The king contemplated this image in wonder and awe

Then he saw a stone, cut without hands, descend from on high.

This vision was given to a Gentile king

the first of many such kings who would hold the Jews

in bondage and Jerusalem in a total ravaged thrall.

John Phillips notes:

With Nebuchadnezzar began a period in God’s dealings called

the “times of the Gentiles,”

so it was fitting that the course of those “times” should be revealed to him.

The “times of the Gentiles” concerned the destiny

of the Hebrew people in exile,

it was also fitting that the significance of the dream

should be revealed to a Jew.

In the relationship of Gentile, Jew, and the church of God

there are two periods of immense importance.

God raised up Abraham and promised him that through him

and his seed all nations would be blessed

Gen. 12:1–3

He entrusted to Israel two things:

secular and spiritual supremacy over all people.

If Israel, as a nation, had been true to its calling,

both goals would have been realized.

There’s a day, in the sovereign purposes of God,

both goals will be realized;

during the millennial reign of Christ,

God’s original purpose will be brought in

by the Lord Jesus from Jerusalem,

and all of the dynamics of secular and spiritual power

will be concentrated in His hands.

Israel failed. The long history of the nation of Israel

in the Promised Land is a record of rebellion, idolatry, and apostasy.

God terminated Israel’s secular supremacy.

He handed Jerusalem, which was to have been the world’s capital,

to a Gentile world power, Babylon.

The temple, which was to have been a house of prayer for all nations,

He consigned to destructive flames.

The “times of the Gentiles.”

Is an explosion of world empires and the city of Jerusalem

are to remain solidly in Gentile hands.

For “Jerusalem,” Jesus said,

“shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,

until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”

Luke 21:24

In 1967, the Jews regained possession of Jerusalem

They’ve made it the capital of the reborn state of Israel.

They have vowed that they will never surrender it.

This has led to some foolish statements that

the “times of the Gentiles” are now over.

But the “times of the Gentiles” continues

The “times of the Gentiles” will terminate

after the coming, career, and collapse of the Antichrist.

Yet to come

For at least three and a half years, the Antichrist will hold Jerusalem

in bondage and will be ravishing the city of Jerusalem

But then, when Christ’s feet touch on the Mount of Olives.

The “times of the Gentiles” will terminate

The current control of Jerusalem by the Jews is only temporary.

It doesn’t indicate, how close we are to the end times

It doesn’t show the termination of the “times of the Gentiles.”

Those times are not over yet;

they will not be over until the descent of that stone cut without hands—

until the return of Christ, and the establishment of the millennial kingdom.

The Jews had temporary possession and control of Jerusalem

in the days of the Hasmoneans,

until the Roman power took it away from them.

It will happen again.

Jerusalem will fall into the hands of the Antichrist,

and Jerusalem will be

“trodden down of the Gentiles” again before it’s all over.

The “times of the Gentiles,” then,

has to do with Israel’s secular power over the nations,

this has for centuries been in suspension

The period of Gentile dominion over Jerusalem

began with Nebuchadnezzar

It will end with the Antichrist.

To this day, the bulk of the world’s Jewish population is still in exile,

some voluntarily but some involuntarily.

God’s dealings with the nation of Israel is that spoken of as the

“fulness of the Gentiles”

Rom. 11:25–27

During this period, spiritual ascendancy

is no longer in Hebrew hands but in Gentile hands.

For two thousand years, from Abraham to Pentecost,

whatever God had to say, He said it in Hebrew and through a Jew.

After Pentecost, whatever God had to say, He said in Greek;

the New Testament, was written in Greek.

God began to speak to the Gentile world in a Gentile language.

Hebrew was almost a dead language by the time of Christ.

The vernacular of the people of Palestine was Aramaic.

The commonly used Bible was the Septuagint, a Greek Bible.

Half of the book of Daniel was written in Aramaic

The murder of their Messiah was the last straw.

God tore spiritual supremacy from the Jews,

just as centuries earlier God had torn away their secular supremacy,

and He gave that spiritual ascendancy to the Church.

The Jews rejected—the Son of God

The Jews rejected—the Spirit of God,

They reject the church of God—

So God uprooted and scattered the Jews.

For more then two thousand years,

they have been homeless strangers in Gentile lands.

Religiously, they are blinded by the Talmud,

instead of sending missionaries and ambassadors to Gentile lands,

as God intended they should,

Gentile believers in Christ send missionaries to them.

Both of these periods, the “times of the Gentiles”

and the “fullness of the Gentiles” will end.

The “fullness” of the Gentiles will end with the rapture of the church.

Then, again, God will begin to speak to the world through Jews.

God will raise up two Jewish witnesses Rev. 11

God will dispatch 144,000 Hebrew evangelists Rev. 7

to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom

They will declare the imminent coming of Christ to a world gone mad.

The “times of the Gentiles” will end with the return of the Christ

to set up His millennial kingdom on this planet, centered at Jerusalem.

All of this remarkable prophecy,

God, revealed to to Nebuchadnezzar through Daniel

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