Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Times of the Gentiles (5) - Season End

Jesus gave a clear way of knowing when the Times of the Gentiles are ended.

Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ (Matt 23:38-39).
The sign of that marks the end of the season is Jewish people blessing Christians who have come to share the gospel of Jesus. This has not happened yet, so we are still in the Times of the Gentiles (Blessing Christians is not the same as taking money from Christian nations to buy weapons).

The times of the Gentiles will come to an end when the sorrows of the Jews are complete. Satan’s last legal authority on earth will be gone, so his ability to do evil will be severely curtailed, leading to a rapid decline in evil. Once Satan has lost his right to work in the world, God will be free to pour out his Spirit and bring the Kingdom to its promised fulfilment. The Jews will welcome the gospel and the season of the Kingdom will begin.

Christians often say that God is doing a new thing. We should be careful about making this kind of statement. A new thing will not happen on earth, unless something changes in the spiritual dimension. The ascension of Jesus changed things in heaven, so it resulted in a new thing on earth (Pentecost). Since then, God has mostly been doing the same thing. However, the end of the judgement of Israel does represent a change in the spiritual dimension (Dan 7:26), so it will produce a "new thing" on earth.

The final years of the Times of the Gentiles will be marked by terrible trouble and distress, as the devil strikes out in a last desperate attempt to retain the power that is slipping from his grasp. At the same time, human governments will seize unprecedented political power in order to build paradise on earth. Their efforts will fail dramatically during a season of distress. Faith in political and military power will be totally shaken.

The Time of Distress is a sub-season that runs in parallel to Times of the Gentiles as they draw to an end. These seasons end together with the Fullness of Israel.

The release of the Four Horsemen of Revelation is the epochal event that marks the beginning of the Times of Distress.
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