Purpose

The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Times of the Gentiles



THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

Matthew 24 & Luke 21
The 24th chapter of the gospel of Matthew, and its parallel Luke 21, have several varying interpretations and understandings around the internet and beyond.  Some so-called Bible scholars view the entire chapter as a future event and others claim that all  content was fulfilled by the Roman army’s destruction of Jerusalem including the temple in 70 AD.  However, it may be that both views are incorrect in some ways and correct in others.  A parallel passage to Matthew 24 found in Mark 21 sometimes gives more and different information and insights not found in Matthew 24.  It can be said that most Darby-Scofield dispensational types seem to prefer Matthew 24 over Luke 21 since it appears to focus more on a futurist view or can be bent in that direction.

In verse 2 Jesus tells the disciples, after bragging about the temple, that not one stone will be left on another concerning the temple.  The disciples, not understanding the timeline of the temple destruction and the end of the age ask Jesus a question that integrates both scenarios, “"Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"  The answer of Jesus, as indicated in the narrative of the gospel of Matthew, doesn’t appear to inform the disciples about the different timings of the two questions.  However, in the parallel passage in Luke 21:7, the question the disciples ask only refers to the temple and not the end of the age although information about the end of the age is given toward the close of the chapter.

Within the next few verses, Jesus warns of false prophets, false Christs, wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, plagues, Luke speaks of terrifying sights and great signs from heaven, and both speak of the vast betrayal and persecution of believers.  It should be noted that the word “earthquake” has a dual meaning in scripture.  It can refer to an actual ground moving event or it can be used in a metaphoric manner to describe turmoil or upheaval in politics, religion, or economics.

All the events described in the previous paragraph have occurred throughout history, sometimes more frequently than other times.  The persecution of Christian believers appears to have taken an upsurge within the past few years with MSNBC claiming that Christianity is a mental illness as well as many believers being killed in Africa and Arab countries.  The Bible and scripture verses have been taken out of schools and the majority of public places.

Matthew 24:15 speaks of the “abomination of desolation standing in the Holy place” and Luke 21:20 only speaks of Jerusalem surrounded by armies.  These two passages appear to be about the same event although there was no obvious appearance of an abomination of desolation given in history books unless it was merely the Roman soldiers entering the temple.  This has led many in the future group to claim this verse is referring to the so-called “antichrist” during the so-called tribulation period (which will be dealt with later).  The next few verses, in both accounts, are giving instructions to Jerusalem inhabitants to escape or avoid the invasion by the Roman soldiers.  Based on this passage, it is said that many Christians left the Jerusalem area when an invasion became apparent.

The Times of the Gentiles
Of the two gospels currently being used, Luke 21:24 has the only mention of the phrase, “Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles (the nations) until the times of the Gentiles (the nations) are fulfilled”.  As punishment (the law of tribulation) for idolatry, Jerusalem/Judea/Canaan was to be ruled and occupied by the beast nations which refers to the length of time in which the beast nations of Daniel 2, 7, and 8 are given dominion in the earth or specifically the land of Judah.  Out of the fourth beast (Roman Empire) listed in Daniel 7, grows a “little horn” which uproots three of the original ten horns (i.e. acquires territory as a governmental Empire).  This little horn is an extension of the Roman fourth beast and consists of the Holy Roman Church or Empire which gained power during the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire.  For more information concerning the beast system, without having to repeat in this article, please refer to The Beast System  and/or Vatican Watch Dates.

The little horn extension is the sea beast seen by John in Revelation 13.  This Rev 13 beast rises from the sea as did the four beasts viewed by Daniel in Dan 7.  That is why this little horn beast is a system of government and not a single “antichrist” type of person.  This little horn beast is a composite of the first three beasts: like a leopard; feet of a beat; and a lion’s mouth.  Note that the dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule.

Revelation 13:1-2 NET Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns were ten diadem crowns, and on its heads a blasphemous name. (2) Now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule.

The next beast, the earth beast or the false prophet, is not a governmental system but a controlling entity that oversees the finances of the sea beast.  The sea beast is allowed to continue their church/government role while being controlled, in the background, by the earth beast.  The two beasts, one a religious empire and the other a monetary entity, become combined with each other although there is reciprocal hatred.

The “times of the gentiles (nations) began when God raised up Babylon to bring judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem in 607-604 B.C. The divine law specified “seven times,” or 2,520 years.  This figure is acquired by the multiplication of 360 (days of a prophetic year) by 7, which is the maximum number of God’s judgement.  The laws of tribulation may be found in Deuteronomy 28.

When exactly did the “times of the gentiles” begin?  Scripture does not give us the precise year when the divine court sold Jerusalem to the king of Babylon. It may have been as early as 612 BC, when the Babylonian army captured Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. It may also have been 607 B.C. when they were first organized into a Babylonian Empire from a political standpoint. Or it may have been in 604 when the Babylonian army actually took the city of Jerusalem.

Thus, we have three potential start dates:  612 BC; 607 BC; and 604 BC.  Dr. Stephen Jones claims that all three dates are important in determining the endpoint of the beast system’s Dominion Mandate.  2,520 years from each date ends with 1909, 1914, and 1917.  However, Jerusalem gained independence during the final century of the Greek Empires dominion due to the atrocities of Antiochus Epiphanes and the valor of the Maccabees.  This century had to be restored to the beast nations to properly fulfill the law or tribulation which gives us the end dates of:  2009; 2014; and 2017 AD.  The extension is an important aspect that many people fail to understand.

The year 2017 was exactly a century after General Allenby took Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire in December 1917.  Recall that on September 23, 2017 the heavens portrayed the picture given in Revelation 12:1. The sun will be in Virgo, the Virgin, with the moon under her feet. She will be crowned by Venus, Mercury, and Mars positioned over her head. This was also reminiscent of the signs prior to Jesus’ birth.  For more information see Signs in the Heavens.

It can justifiably be said that we are in the last years or days of the “times of the Gentiles.” Insofar as Jerusalem is concerned, we know that the city has been trampled down by various manifestations of the beast nations since 604 B.C. when they first occupied the city. Dating from that event, 2,520 plus 100 years brings us to 2017 and we are now into 2018 with the falling of Mystery, Babylon (although it currently appears to be much slower than expected, but who knows other than God).

The Days of Noah
Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 21:25-28 appear to be answering the last part of the disciple’s question in Matthew 24:2 (i.e. “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?")

Luke 21:25-27 NET "And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. (26) People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (27) Then they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud with power and great glory.

There will be heavenly signs as in September 2017.  Many nations are in some type of distress i.e. the Middle East wars involving Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, China, and the USA.  There is also the inane Russian collusion debacle in the USA.  Migrants invading Europe and etc.

Anxiety over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves is metaphorically speaking of civil unrest and despair.

As for the phrase, “For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be” of Matthew 24:37 has a simple explanation if the verse is not taken out of context.  The previous verse states, “But as for that day and hour no one knows it — not even the angels in heaven — except the Father alone.   Thus like the people in Noah’s day, “People were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark”.  In other words, it was business as usual although they had been warned.

Many prognosticators and fear-mongers like Tom Horn of SkyWatchTV interpret “like the days of Noah” as an invasion of Watchers, Nephilim, and giants.

The Fig Tree Parable
Luke 21:29 relates a parable of a fig tree, with the fig tree representing Jews, Judah, Edomites, or Khazarians.  Matthew 21:19 related another account of a fig tree that Jesus cursed because it had no fruit and declared that it (fig tree or Judah) would never have any fruit.

Matthew 21:19 NET After noticing a fig tree by the road he went to it, but found nothing on it except leaves. He said to it, "Never again will there be fruit from you!" And the fig tree withered at once.

It can be seen that the fig tree parable is about Jerusalem and the nation of Judah, which is symbolized by the fig tree. The tree was cursed because it bore leaves but no fruit.  Fig leaves represent self-justification, as opposed to being justified by faith in the blood of the Lamb.  Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves which represented a false covering for their sin.  The nation of Judah (or Judea) as a whole rejected the Lamb of God and had no faith in His blood sacrifice. They continued to sacrifice animals for the covering of sin instead of applying the blood of Jesus. So several days prior to the end of Jesus’ ministry, He laid a curse on the fig tree, representing the nation of Judah, saying, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.”  Later Jesus related to the disciples another aspect about the fig tree, telling them, in effect, that it would come back to life after withering away. It would again bear leaves near the end of the age but would not bear fruit.

Today’s nation of Israel could be considered inhabited by Judeans and Edomites (with the Khazarians running the show).  Although some individual Jews have become Christian believers, the nation of Israel will never bear fruit.  If they do then the words of Jesus are wrong and He would be a false prophet.

As reported by John the Baptist a tree (a person or group of people) not producing fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (i.e. the “lake of fire” or the corrective judgment of God occurring at the end of the Millennium).

Luke 3:9 NET Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

Jesus examined the people of Judea for three years and below is His final response.

Luke 13:6-7 NET Then Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. (7) So he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, 'For three years now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue to deplete the soil?'

The fulfillment of Luke 19:43-44 (scripture given below) partially occurred with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Roman military.  However, Jerusalem was rebuilt, and because the Jewish nation came back to life as the revived fig tree, the final fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy remains for the near future.

Luke 19:41-44 NET Now when Jesus approached and saw the city, he wept over it, (42) saying, "If you had only known on this day, even you, the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (43) For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and surround you and close in on you from every side. (44) They will demolish you -- you and your children within your walls -- and they will not leave within you one stone on top of another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God."

This Generation
“Learn this parable from the fig tree”.  The fig tree is Judah or Judea that is today represented by the nation of Israel.  The nation has sprouted many leaves which means that summer or the end of the age is near.  “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place”.

The United Nations passed the Palestinian Resolution on November 29, 1947, and the state was established on May 14, 1948.  If a generation is considered to be 70 years then 2017-2018, which is now, should be the time of the destruction of Jerusalem not the so-called pre-tribulational rapture as the Darby-Scofield group believes.

Matthew 24:32-34 NET "Learn this parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. (33) So also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near, right at the door. (34) I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.


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