It is stated by some that Jerusalem will not be under Gentile rule in the terminal generation, a situation which had existed from A.D. 70 allegedly until the Six Day War of 1967. This is an argument assumed to be based on the text found in Luke 21:24.
The verse says “And they shall all fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations.And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Today we respond to the fifth of Hagee’s 10 signs that we are headed for Armageddon with “End Times Road Signs: When Were the Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled?”
John Hagee’s Book Beginning of the End, Are We the Terminal Generation, (BOE) says that Gentile rule continued until the Six Day War of 1967. Following this statement, he adds that David predicted the Lord would rebuild Zion and appear in his glory there, (Psalms 102:6). His objective is to show that after Gentile rule has ended and Israel sets up their own sovereign state having banished the indigenous population and government of Palestine, that Christ will then return to Zion.
We addressed the issue of when Christ returns relative to the inheritance above. Here, we examine the text of Luke 21:24 and the question of Gentile rule. The chapter begins with a discussion and admiration of the temple donations and stones. To the surprise of the admirers, Christ said, the days would come that not one stone upon another would remain, but all would be thrown down.
When Will These Things Be?
The disciples then ask, “when will these things be and what signs will there be when these things are about to take place, (v. 7). What follows is Jesus’ answer to his disciples concerning that question. The chapter is much to lengthy to add every detail, so the reader is encouraged to read it in its entirety, perhaps more than once.
However, the important point to keep in mind is that Christ speaks directly to his disciples to advise them of what happens in their time. Starting in verse 20, he warns them, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” This refers to the Roman invasion of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
The disciples were told to flee the city because as shown above, not one stone would be left upon another. Thus, they were to head for the mountains and not return back. According to Christ, those were the days of God’s vengeance upon Israel. See also Matthew 23:34-36. Most notably, Christ says this is the time when all prophecy (all things written) would be fulfilled.
Josephus Reported 1.1 Million Jews Killed in A.D. 70 and 97,000 Led Captive
Next he describes the woes for people who are under duress and stress, namely those pregnant and those who are nursing babies. The reason is the distress caused by war and the expelling people from their land and homes making travel difficult. Many would fall by the edge of the sword (be killed) and others would be led into captivity.
According to Jewish Historian, Josephus, 1.1 million Jews perished in the siege with another 97,000 carried into captivity. Josephus confirms the warning and wisdom of Christ to his believers but rejected by his enemies as to the reason so many Jews were killed on this occasion.
“Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege, eleven hundred thousand, the greater part o the citizens of Jerusalem,] but not belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all the country [Judea] to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army, which, at the very first, occasioned so great a strictness among them, that there came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine as destroyed them more suddenly.”
This trampling of the Jews under foot by the Romans fulfilled the statement of the “time of the Gentiles being fulfilled” It is the time of the casting out of the bondwoman or fleshly Israel who through their rejection of the Messiah and persecution of the saints (Christians) had symbolically become Ishmael or Egypt, a nation known for their persecution of God’s people. See (Matthew 8:11-12; 21:38-43; Gal. 4:21-30; Revelation 11:8).
All the events of this chapter fall within the time parameters of verse 32, as Jesus is warning them of when these things would be near. “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.” (Luke 21:32). Therefore, the times of the Gentiles and treading trampling under foot of Jerusalem reaches it conclusion in A.D. 70, within the generation then living at the time of the Christ, i.e. the first century.
Since the time of the Babylonian captivity, the Jews were ruled by Gentile nations beginning with Nebuchadnezzar. In fact, one could also include the time of the Egyptian and Assyrian domination. However, Daniel prophesied the demise of this foreign rule over the people of God as it primarily related to Judah or the Southern Kingdom. That was the remaining portion of God’s people after the rest had been cut off and assimilated with the Gentiles.
Daniel prophesied the end of Gentile domination in chapter 2:35, in the destruction of the image broken by the “stone cut out of the mountains without hands. This stone represents the kingdom of Christ, a kingdom not of this world as Jesus taught, (John 18:36). Unfortunately, for Judah, meaning those who refused Christ, hence “cut off in unbelief” (Romans 11:15, 19-20), they too suffered in this destruction of the image which is precisely what is described in Luke 21:20-24.
At the same time God ends the rule of the Gentiles, he shatters the power of national Israel, represented as the “little horn” in Daniel who wars against the saints until the Ancient of Days, i.e. the Son of Man comes and defeats and destroys their dominion, (See Daniel 7:21-27; 12:7).
The message of Daniel chapters 2 and 7 are the same but portrayed under the imagery of both the colossal image and the 4 beasts and the little horn.
It is the kingdom of Christ, consisting of Jews and Gentiles which supersedes the national kingdom of Israel. It is spiritual in nature, ruled by Christ in heaven and is not subject to territorial land borders, the weakness of human judgment and frailty, man-made machinery and artillery, or conflicting laws that give rights to some while denying them to others.
It is mentioned also in Luke 21:31, in the very text that speaks of Jerusalem’s destruction showing that while the old national kingdom is destroyed, Christ’s kingdom reign is established. “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. “ Again, all would happen before the generation then living passed away.
Therefore, the new kingdom of God came while the old passed away. This spiritual kingdom never has, never can and never will be subject to the rule of earthly governments. It is non-territorial and exists wherever two or three are gathered in the name of Christ.
As Daniel prophesied, it would break in pieces and consume all kingdoms and would stand forever, (Daniel 2:44-45). In Revelation 11:15, we are told that at the sounding of the seventh angel, meaning, loud voices in heaven were saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
The trumpet sound of the seventh angel corresponds to that of Matthew 24:31, and marks the time of the gathering of God’s people to himself. Christ again says this happened at his coming in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 A.D. before his generation passed, Matthew 21:30-34. Thus the times of the Gentiles insofar as the kingdom of Christ is concerned is centuries past and is therefore non-existent. Christ now reigns forever in heavenly Zion world without end, Amen.