The Bible speaks of blessings and cursings for the descendants of Israel (e.g. Leviticus 26)).
The Bible also speak of the times--plural-- of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24).
Do you know much about them?
What do Protestants, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of God teach?
When did the first the time of the Gentiles begin?
Are we still in that time now? Or did the first time or times end?
If so when?
Is there a coming time of the Gentiles?
Since around 1800, the world has been dominated by the English-speaking British and American nations (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel). They have basically been on top of the world order since then. But we are seeing changes. Could any of this be related to any time of the Gentiles?
As far as the future is concerned, does the Bible shows that the start of the Great Tribulation will mark 42 months of the final time of the Gentiles?
A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
The Bible uses the term Gentiles in contrast to those descended from Isaac through his son Jacob, who God renamed as Israel (Genesis 32:28).
The first time the term Gentiles is used in the Bible is in the Book of Genesis:
1 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. (Genesis 10:1-5, NKJV throughout unless otherwise cited--though cited articles may use differing translations)
Isaac descended from Shem,. Later, even descendants of Isaac, other than those who descended from Isaac's other son, Esau (cf. Genesis 36), are also called Gentiles (cf. Psalm 105:44)
Essentially, Gentiles are people who are not considered to be physical descendants of Isaac's son Jacob/Israel.
The Jewish Encyclopedia states:
Meaning of the Term.
A word of Latin origin (from "gens"; "gentilis"), designating a people not Jewish, commonly applied to non-Jews ...
The word "Gentile" corresponds to the late Hebrew "goi," a synonym for "nokri," signifying "stranger," "non-Jew." ...
"Goi" and "goyyim," however, are employed in many passages to designate nations that are politically distinct from Israel (Deut. xv. 6; xxviii. 12, 36; Josh. xxiii. 4). From this use is derived the meaning "stranger" (Deut. xxix. 24; comp. II Chron. vi. 32 ="'amme ha-'areẓ"). (Gentile. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6585-gentile accessed 07/28/17)
But, it should be pointed out, the term means not of Israelish descent as Jews, technically, are from only one of the tribes of Israel.
This is important to consider as there is a contrast between the time of the Israelites and the time of the non-Israelites--the time(s) of the Gentiles.
Here is another definition of the Hebrew term normally translated as Gentiles:
gowy (go'-ee); rarely (shortened) goy (go'-ee); apparently from the same root as OT:1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence, a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts:
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Again, Gentiles are non-Israelites.
As far as the Israelites go, the Bible shows that after Israel/Jacob adopted Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh and placed the name Israel on them (Genesis 48:8-20), there were then 13 tribes:
8 Then Israel saw Joseph's sons, and said, "Who are these?"
9 Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given me in this place."
And he said, "Please bring them to me, and I will bless them." 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 And Israel said to Joseph, "I had not thought to see your face; but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!"
12 So Joseph brought them from beside his knees, and he bowed down with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him. 14 Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said:
"God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,
16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Bless the lads;
Let my name be named upon them,
And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." (Genesis 48:8-16)
That makes 13 tribes (the first chapter of the Book of Numbers lists all thirteen).
Now, related to Genesis 48:16, the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges commentary claims:
grow into a multitude] For the fulfilment of the blessing, see the numbers of the tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, in Numbers 1:33; Numbers 1:35; Numbers 26:34; Numbers 26:37. Compare Deuteronomy 33:17, “they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
But that is nonsense if we look more into Genesis 48:
17 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head."
19 But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations."
20 So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will bless, saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!'" And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh. (Genesis 48:17-20)
Ephraim was NOT a company of nations in Numbers or Deuteronomy as it would need to be if the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges commentary was correct.
Speaking of commentaries, notice something related to Genesis 48:19 in Matthew Poole's Commentary:
A multitude of nations, i.e. equal to many nations in number and strength; or, from them shall proceed many nations, i.e. many numerous; potent, and flourishing families, whereof each is equivalent to an ordinary nation. For as nations are sometimes called families, as Zechariah 14:18, so the tribes and families of Israel are called nations or people, as Ezekiel 2:3 Acts 4:27.
Now, that also makes no sense. The tribe of Ephraim did not become a multitude of nations by the time of Ezekiel, Zechariah, or the Book of Acts. The classic commentaries that Protestants and Catholics tend to use simply do not show a fulfillment of the promises to Ephraim and Manasseh.
Getting back to Genesis 48:20, Ephraim was to rise up before Manasseh. And as it turned out, Britain dominated the world before the USA did.
The Bible shows that God promised blessings and curses to the children of Israel (Leviticus 26; Deutronomy 28).
For a time, the Kingdom of Israel arose (the kingdom officially starting with King Saul c. 1010 B.C.) and had prominence in the area sometimes referred to as Palestine (until 721-718 B.C.).
The kings Saul and David were from the tribes of Benjamin (1 Samuel 9:1-2) and Judah (1 Samuel 17:12) respectively. Shortly after the death of Solomon, the other tribes rebelled with their leader Jeroboam and became a separate nation with 10 tribes (cf. 1 Kings 11:31) called Israel/Samaria/Ephraim (cf. Isaiah , with the original kingdom referred to as Judah (cf. 1 Kings 15:1,9). The 13th tribe, the priestly tribe Levi, essentially stayed with Judah, so King Jeroboam let anyone become a priest (1 Kings 12:31-32).
For more details on who the descendants of Israel now are, please check out the article Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel.
There are various misconceptions about the time of the Gentiles.
Here is one Protestant view of the time of the Gentiles:
Question: "What are the times of the Gentiles?"
Answer: In Luke 21:24, Jesus speaks of future events, including the destruction of Jerusalem and His return. He says that “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (ESV). A similar phrase is found in Romans 11:25, which says, “A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (ESV). ...
Looking again at Luke 21:24, we see that Jesus mentions a time in which Jerusalem is under the dominion of Gentile authority. Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Jerusalem in 588 BC began that period, and it has continued through the present time. Romans 11:25 gives us a hint as to God’s purpose in the times of the Gentiles: the spread of the gospel throughout the whole world. The organization and inventions of the pagan world powers have actually aided the evangelism of the world. For example, in the first century, it was the widespread use of the Greek language and the network of Roman roads that allowed many people in far-off lands to hear the gospel.
One theme of Romans 11 is that, when the Jewish people rejected Christ, they were temporarily cut off from the blessings of a relationship with God. As a result, the gospel was given to the Gentiles, and they gladly received it. This partial hardening of heart for Israel doesn’t preclude individual Jews from being saved, but it prevents the nation from accepting Christ as Messiah until His plans are finished. When the time is right, God will restore the entire nation, and they will come to faith in Him once again, ending “the times of the Gentiles” (Isaiah 17:7; 62:11–12; Romans 11:26). (What are the times of the Gentiles? © Copyright 2002-2017 Got Questions Ministries. https://www.gotquestions.org/times-of-the-Gentiles.html accessed 07/28/17)
So, supposedly we are in the time of the Gentiles now and the time of the Gentiles is for proclaiming the gospel. While we are to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world as a witness now (Matthew 24:14) and God is calling Gentiles now (cf. Romans 11:25), we have not been in the time of the Gentiles for the past couple of centuries that Jesus was referring to.
It seems to be a common view among American evangelical Protestants seems we are now in the time of the Gentiles awaiting the fullness of the Gentiles. Hal Lindsey basically teaches the same thing:
We already see the signs of Jerusalem and Israel’s desperate fate coming on the scene. At the very end period of the “Times of the gentiles”, where the full number of gentiles will be saved, then this phenomena will take place, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee the mountains, let those who are midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trampled by the Gentiles until the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ are fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24 NKJV)
This covers the period from 70AD until the Rapture, when the full number of Gentiles are SAVED. This will complete the ‘Times of the Gentiles’. Then the Rapture suddenly happens and all the saved people, mostly Gentiles, will be snatched up to meet the LORD JESUS in the clouds. All the Christians who have died will be instantly resurrected. (Lindsey H. This Danger Has A Name. The Hal Lindesy Report. March 25, 2016. http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-3-25-2016/ accessed 08/14/17)
But that is not what scripture means related to the time(s) of the Gentiles. Hal Lindsey and others must realize that the reference in Luke 21 ties to Revelation 11:2. Now, the verse in Romans 11 some Protestants, including Hal Lindsey, have referred to is as follows:
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25)
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, (Romans 11:25, NIV)
This is something different than the precisely prophesied time of the Gentiles (though it would overlap the final one). Consider that when the Apostle Paul wrote that, God was mainly calling Jews to be Christian. And God has continued to call descendants of Israel, as well as Gentiles, since New Testament times. For more on Romans 11:25, check out the article: What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles?
And let me add, that according to Hal Lindsey's own teachings the trampling of Jerusalem for 42 months by Gentiles (Revelation 11:2) comes after his inaccurately-pushed rapture is supposed to happen (see also Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?).
Those associated with the Church of Rome have written:
(Cathecism of the Catholic Church. DoubleDay, 1995, p. 25)
Did Jesus will the foundation of the Church? Yes, but this Church is the people of God that he brings together, beginning first of all with Israel, through whom he aims at the salvation of all peoples. In fact, it is to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt 10:6; 15:24) that Jesus knows himself to have been sent first, and to these he sends his disciples. One of the most moving expressions of the consciousness of his own dignity and mission on the part of Jesus is this lament (the lament of the God of Israel!): “Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you would not” (Lk 13:34; 19:41-44). God (Yahweh), indeed, in the Old Testament seeks without pause to unite the people of Israel into a single people, his people. That very “and you would not” does not change, to be sure, the intention, but the path followed by the calling together of all mankind around Jesus. From now on it will be “the times of the Gentiles” (Lk 21:24; Rom 11:1—6), principally, which will indicate the Church of Christ. (INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION The Consciousness of Christ Concerning Himself and His Mission* (1985) (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_cti_1985_coscienza-gesu_en.html)
Jesus had come first for the people of Israel, then for the whole world. He was only in phase one of his mission. The time of the gentiles had not yet come. But the great faith of this woman induced him to change his timetable. It reminds me of another woman of faith who intervened when the wedding guests had no more wine (Jn 2).
The old Radio Church of God put out the following by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh which discussed more than one time of the Gentiles:
Common Teachings in Error
It is the common assumption that the times of the Gentiles are a period of blessing on the nations. It is argued that since God took away the blessing of being great and dominant nations from Israel and Judah and since the Gentiles for centuries have been dominant nations, that human rule is a blessing bestowed upon the Gentiles.
Nothing could be further from the truth! (Hoeh H. What are the Times of the Gentiles? Plain Truth, September 1955)
Here are some explanations of the fulness of the Gentiles in Romans 11 by the old Worldwide/Radio Church of God:
Now I want you to study carefully one of the most wonderful, important chapters in all the Bible — the 11th of Romans. Notice the question in verse 1: Has God cast away the Israelites? In verse 2 Paul says "No!" Study verses 7 and 8. A few of them accepted salvation, but the rest were BLINDED — and — note it — God blinded them! Notice verse 11. They have not stumbled that they should FALL, or lose salvation, but salvation has come to the gentiles — WHY? — to provoke Israel to JEALOUSY, so they, too, will turn. Notice verse 15 — they are to be received again — and as life from the dead. Verse 23 says those who abide not still in unbelief shall YET receive salvation. Now study carefully beginning verse 25: "Blindness in part is happened to Israel [HOW LONG? Forever? No — note it], UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" — the end of this age during which God is calling a people from among the gentiles to bear His name (Acts 15:14). And so, says Romans 11:26, "all Israel SHALL BE SAVED [how?]: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." The Deliverer, Jesus Christ, is coming again! When He comes, the gentile times will be over — the BLINDNESS will be removed from the Israelites (Armstrong HW. Where Will The MILLENNIUM Be Spent? Tomorrow's World, September 1971)
Isaiah 11 ... The Gentiles are going to seek God (verse 10) and Israel and Judah are going to be gathered THE SECOND TIME from the heathen nations (verse 11). This could not be speaking of any "spiritual Israel." The last verses in this chapter speak of men crossing rivers and highways as they leave the Gentile nations and return the second time to the land of promise. This is the time spoken of by Paul. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (Romans 11:25-27). Here is GOOD NEWS! Here is part of the gospel message. Blindness is happened to Israel, not forever, but until the full number of Gentiles who are to be converted in this age comes into the Kingdom. Then Israel shall be forgiven and the vast majority of Gentiles shall seek God. (Hoeh H. The Coming UTOPIA... Wonderful World of Tomorrow. Plain Truth, March 1957)
The fulness of the Gentiles is NOT related to the final time of the Gentiles in the way certain Protestants claim. More on Protestantism can be found in the free online book Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.
The Jehovah's Witnesses teach something a bit closer to the scriptural intent of a time of the Gentiles than many Protestants do:
DECADES in advance, Bible students proclaimed that there would be significant developments in 1914. What were these, and what evidence points to 1914 as such an important year?
As recorded at Luke 21:24, Jesus said: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations [“the times of the Gentiles,” King James Version] ...
When would that grand event occur? Jesus showed that the Gentiles would rule for a fixed period of time. The account in Daniel chapter 4 holds the key to knowing how long that period would last. It relates a prophetic dream experienced by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He saw a tree of enormous height that was chopped down. Its stump could not grow because it was banded with iron and copper. An angel declared: “Let seven times pass over it.”—Daniel 4:10-16. ...
The 2,520 years began in October 607 B.C.E., when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Davidic king was taken off his throne. The period ended in October 1914. At that time, “the appointed times of the nations” ended, and Jesus Christ was installed as God’s heavenly King. *—Psalm 2:1-6; Daniel 7:13, 14. (What Does the Bible Really Teach? APPENDIX: 1914—A Significant Year in Bible Prophecy. https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/1914-significant-year-bible-prophecy/ accessed 07/28/17)
In the Church of God, we have historically used 604, not 607 B.C., as the starting point as Nebuchadnezzar II, partially because he did not come to the throne until 605 B.C.--which is after 607 B.C. that the Jehovah's Witnesses use. Since the 2,520 years, according to Jehovah's Witnesses the start after the dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had, this negates their calculated interpretation of this.
Perhaps some day they will change on this point and not teach 1914 as the end of the times of the Gentiles since their point of reference is off.
Before going further, notice the following from the Book of Ezekiel:
15 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 "As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.' (Ezekiel 37:15-17)
This is relevant as there is a separation between the Israelites.
The position of the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God was that there seemed to be more than one ancient times of the Gentiles--one related to Jerusalem/Judah and the other related to Ephraim/Israel/Samaria.
Dr. Hoeh, in the old Radio Church of God, wrote:
Then again, many claim that the times of the Gentiles are synonymous with the times of Judah’s punishment, that the Gentile times have already ended-some say in 1914, others say in 1917 or 1936. Some even think that it might end this year. But all these supposed dates for the ending of the times of the Gentiles are mere guesses! The truth is that almost no one really knows what the times of the Gentiles are. ... Let’s not assume, let’s study the Bible itself to see what these times really are.
Times of Israel’s Punishment a Key to Understanding
Israel was promised great national blessings, including national greatness if they would obey God. But God also promised that if they obstinately refused to obey Him, if they refused to follow His laws and let Him rule their lives, then He would punish them for a period called seven times (Lev. 26).
The Bible itself defines this period of seven times for us. If you turn to Revelation the twelfth chapter, and compare verses 6 and 14 you will see that the word time in prophecy simply means a year, hence seven times would be seven years or 2520 days.
Now let’s notice another key. In Numbers 14:34, God said Israel would bear their iniquities in the wilderness after the number of days they searched the land of Canaan, forty days, each day for a year.
Then seven times or 2520 prophetic days would equal 2520 literal years! This period of seven times or 2520 years punishment did come upon Israel because they went their own ways and would no: submit to the rule of God. Israel went into captivity about 721 B.C. and did not become a great people again until their times of punishment ceased about 1800 A.D. At that time the descendants of the ancient House of Israel -America and Britain and the democratic peoples of the world--began to rise to such wealth and power as the world has never enjoyed before all because of the promises made to Abraham.
Also Palestine, after a punishment against the House of Judah, that began about 604 B.C., was brought back from the Gentile Turks in 1917-exactly 2520 years later, when it came under the control of Great Britain, and finally the Jews. The seven times of Israel’s punishment was a period of great privation and suffering, of slavery and war because they would not submit their wills and their ways to God, because they would not allow Him to rule their lives by His perfect laws, which could have brought them peace and prosperity and dominion.
The Original Prophecy Found in Daniel
Now that we understand the seven times punishment on Israel, let’s understand the meaning of the times of the Gentiles.
The original prophecy to which Jesus had reference is found in the fourth chapter of Daniel. Jesus understood that this prophetic vision of the great tree had reference to the times of the Gentiles as well as to Nebuchadnezzar’s literal punishment.
Notice Daniel 4:17. This striking vision was not only to teach Nebuchadnezzar that God rules, but it is also “to the intent that THE LIVING may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the basest of men.” ...
Remember what Jesus said in Luke 21:24? That Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the very completion of the times of the Gentiles!
Since Zechariah 14: 1-3 shows that Jesus Christ will return in order to deliver Jerusalem from the Gentiles ... (Isaiah 27:13; I Cor. 15:52) (Hoeh H. What are the Times of the Gentiles? Plain Truth, September 1955)
721 B.C. is when the ten-tribed nation of Israel, sometimes referred to by the name of the tribe Ephraim (Ezekiel 37:16), was sieged by the ancient Assyrians.
It was essentially 2520 years later that the Anglo-American powers rose up. That particular 2520 year time of the Gentiles is over. The Anglo-American world order has essentially dominated much of the world since 1800. 2520 years after Samaria's capital was besieged by the Assyrians, the US Congress held its first session in Washington, D.C. on November 17, 1800 as its national capital.
It has been claimed that "West Manasseh got taken during the fall of Samaria in 718 B.C." (Salemi P. Manasseh is the United States of America. http://www.british-israel.ca/Manasseh.htm accessed 08/23/17), which would tend to point to 1803 for the USA. Or as another place worded it, "Samaria was conquered in 718 B.C. "Seven times" later Jefferson bought the "LOUISIANA PURCHASE" in 1803 A.D." (The United States and the British Empire FORETOLD in the Bible! HOIM, http://www.hope-of-israel.org/USforetold.html accessed 08/23/17).
"The result is that the true biblical date for the overthrow of Samaria is 718 B.C., and not 721 B.C." (Beecher WJ. The Date of the Downfall of Samaria. Journal of Biblical Literature Vol. 11, No. 2 (1892), pp. 211-213). Many biblical prophecies of 'Samaria,' which is sometimes used as a substitute for the term Manasseh (Isaiah 9:8-12,21; Hosea 7:1-3) have to do with the USA (see also Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New).
Even 1776 may have a 2520 year connection. The deportations under Assyria are believed to have began in 745 B.C.:
The progressive captivity of Israel began with King Tiglath Pileser III (an assumed name) of Assyria, who ruled from c 745–727 BC. ...
Josephus op. cit. 9:14:1 “Shalmaneser, king of Assyria besieged Samaria three years, quite demolished the government of the Israelites, and translated all the people into Media and Persia.” Shalmaneser V began the attack, but died toward the end of the siege. Most of the remaining tribes of Samaria were removed by Shalmaneser before he died. His successor Sargon completed this in 721 BC. (Israelite Deportations by Assyria. Bible Topic Exposition, December 20, 2015. https://bibletopicexpo.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/israelite-deportations-by-assyria/ accessed 08/01/17)
2520 years after the deportation of Samarians began, the thirteen colonies declared their independance in 1776. But they were not actually fully independent then, and many colonists (though not the majority) supported Britain. This seems to be a interesting parallel with the partial deportation beginning in 745 B.C.
Now, not all of these 2520 year periods are necessarily separate "times of the Gentiles"--they reflect 2520 year periods were differing blessings had been withheld. Though some are consistent Gentile dominance of various areas, etc.
In 1970, the late evangelist Herman Hoeh wrote an article in the WCG similar to the one he wrote in the Radio Church of God about the time of the Gentiles and added to it:
The Bible itself defines this period of seven times for us. If you turn to Revelation the twelfth chapter, and compare verses 6 and 14, you will see that the word "time" in prophecy simply means a year. Hence seven "times" would be "seven years," each containing twelve 30-day months — or a total of 2520 days (7x12x30). ...
God was dealing with the Gentiles in Daniel's day. The Gentile king Nebuchadnezzar had been sinning -- living contrary to God's law. He had been taking his people on the road to world conquest and the enslavement of other nations and peoples. He had been traveling the way of war, not of peace.
God had sent His warning. The king did not heed. So God punished the nation seven years (569 to 562 B.C.) by cursing King Nebuchadnezzar with madness — till he acted and thought like a beast of the forest!
No punishment like that had ever come on any king before! No nation had ever been so cursed!
After these seven years Nebuchadnezzar's mind returned to sanity. He now repented, admitted that his ways were wrong, and actually wrote a great public document admitting before all nations what had happened to him and to his people!
After those seven years of punishment, the kingdom of Babylon was given the heart of a man. The leaders began to think in ways of peace instead of war. Notice Daniel 7:4. The kingdom of Chaldea (or Babylon) — here symbolized by a ferocious lion — stood "upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given it."
Notice the parallel. King Nebuchadnezzar, because of his sins, was punished seven literal years. At the end of that time he regained his sanity and began for the first time in his life to repent and to give up the ways of war for the way of peace. ... As He punished Israel and Judah for seven prophetic "times" -- 2520 years -- so would be the punishment of the Gentiles! God began to punish the nation by cursing their king for seven literal years. (Hoeh H. There is a Way of Escape. Plain Truth, 1970)
Interestingly there are 2520 days in 7 years of 360 days--like the amount of time Nebuchadnezzar was mentally and physically in exile.
Why did at least one old time of the Gentiles last 2520 years?
Well, essentially it was because of disobedience from of the old children of Israel consistent with biblical prophecies such as the following as explained by the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God:
A “Nation” and a “Commonwealth of Nations”
Remember now the birthright promise was given to the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh--not to the other tribes or their descendants. These two birthright tribes were part of the northern kingdom of Israel.
Notice again the original promise: “A nation and a company of nations shall be of thee …” (Genesis 35:11).
In passing on the birthright promise the dying Jacob (Israel) said of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph, “… let my name be named on them” (Genesis 48:16). Hence it is the--the descendants of Ephraim (the British) and Manasseh (Americans)—not the Jews, who are referred to in prophecy under the names of Jacob or Israel. Continuing, Jacob added, “… and let them grow into a multitude.”
Then, speaking of Manasseh and his descendants alone, Jacob said prophetically: “… he also shall become a people [nation], and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude [a company, or commonwealth] of nations” (verse 19).
In A.D.1800 the United Kingdom and the United States were small and insignificant among the Earth’s nations. The United Kingdom consisted only of the British Isles, a very small part of India and of Canada and a few little islands. The United States consisted only of the original 13 colonies and three added states. Neither possessed any great wealth or power. ...
To understand this miraculous burst into world dominance, it is necessary to examine the very pivot of Old Testament prophecies—the 26th chapter of Leviticus. ...
In this central prophecy, God reaffirmed the birthright promise ... There was a condition—a great big “if”--to their receiving actual fulfillment of this stupendous birthright promise in their time! God said: “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase …” (verses 3-4). ...
The Great Big If
But here comes the alternative—IF the conditions are not met: “… if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments … I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague [fever], that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of the heart [rsv: waste the eyes and cause life to pine away]: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you …” (verses 14-17). ...
They Reject God as King
But in the days of Samuel they rejected God even as their national King—as their civil Ruler. They demanded a human king, like all the unbelieving Gentiles (1 Samuel 8:1-7). This probably took place near the end of 1112 B.C.
To reject God as Ruler was the greatest sin. Up until this time they had recognized Him—had looked to no other as King. This seems to have begun the years of complete sin, for which God punished them.
Nevertheless, under the “Old Covenant” of Mt. Sinai, they were still God’s nation. God still dealt with them. He did not “divorce” them until 721-718 B.C., as we shall see. ...
The Seven Prophetic Times
Now continue in Leviticus 26: “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins” (verse 18).
It is important to understand this!
This expression “seven times” is translated into the English from a Hebrew word which conveys a dual meaning. The original Hebrew word Moses wrote is shibah. It is defined as “seven times,” and also as “sevenfold.” The “seven times” implies duration or continuation of punishment. But the word also conveys the meaning of “sevenfold,” or seven times greater intensity of punishment—as a punishment that is sevenfold more intense. In this sense, the meaning would be the same as in Daniel 3:19, where King Nebuchadnezzar, in a rage, commanded that the furnace into which Daniel’s three friends were to be thrown should be made seven times hotter.
Now understand the “seven times”--or seven prophetic “times.” For this is a prophecy. In prophecy, a “time” is a prophetic 360-day year. And, during Israel’s punishment, each day represented a year being fulfilled.
This “day-for-a-year principle” is explained in two other passages dealing with the duration of Israel’s punishment. One of these we have already covered. God punished that generation of Israelites Moses had led out of Egypt by withholding from them entry into the Promised Land forty years. That Promised Land was a beginning part of the birthright. God punished them on the principle of a year for every day—40 years’ duration of punishment for the 40 days of transgression.
Ezekiel’s “Day for a Year”
In order to impress on the Prophet Ezekiel the seriousness of Israel’s years of rebellion against God’s rule and God’s laws which would cause great blessings, God imposed this very principle on him--but it was enacted in reverse.
The sins of the house of Israel had continued from their rejection of God as King for 390 years. Naturally God could not expect this prophet, in a human lifetime, to undergo the bearing of these years of sin on the basis of each day of sinning being borne by him for a year. That would have required 2,000 lifetimes. So God reversed the actual application of the principle. Ezekiel was required to bear Israel’s sins a day for each year they had sinned. But it still was the “day-for-a-year principle”!
Ezekiel was told to lie on his left side, in an imaginary siege against Jerusalem, pictured on a tile before him. “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year” (Ezekiel 4:4-6). It is mentioned further in verse 9.
But in the other application of the “day-for-a-year principle,” previously explained, where it applied also to a duration of punishment put on the people, the punishment was to be borne by them on the basis of a year of punishment for each day. Also in this case, the punishment was the number of years during which a promised blessing was withheld.
Now when we come to the expression “then I will punish you seven times more for your sins” in Leviticus 26, it is evident both by its manner of wording in the sentence and by the fact of actual fulfillment that it was speaking of a duration of seven prophetic “times,” or years. And on this “year-for-a-day principle,” it becomes seven 360-day years--a total of 2520 days. And when each day is a year of punishment--in this case, as in Numbers 14:34, a withholding of a promised blessing--the punishment becomes the withdrawing of and withholding the promised blessings for 2520 years! For that is precisely what did happen!
What is a “Time”?
But now did you notice I said that a prophetic “time” is a 360-day year? Why not a year of 365 1/4 days? Why not a solar year?
In ancient biblical times, a year was figured on a basis of twelve 30-day months. Previous to the time, in Moses’s day, when God gave His people the sacred calendar, the 30-day month was used.
Notice Genesis 7:11: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” Now verse 24: “And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.”
Next, Genesis 8:3-4: “And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.”
So notice--the flood started on the 17th day of the second month. At the end of 150 days, the ark rested on Mount Ararat, on the 17th day of the 7th month. That was five months to the day. Five 30-day months are precisely 150 days. So months, then, were 30-day months!
We find it definitely figured this way in both Daniel and Revelation. In Revelation 12:6, a prophecy of an event which in actual history did last 1260 solar years is spoken of as “a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” So here, again, a prophetic day was a year in fulfillment. In Revelation 13:5 (referring to a different event but the same amount of time) this same period of 1260 days being fulfilled in 1260 solar years is spoken of as “forty and two months.” Now 42 calendar months, according to the calendar now in use, would not be 1260 days, but 1276 days--and, if a leap year occurred, 1277. Or, if the extra half-year happened to be the last half of the year, it would be 1280 or 1281 days. But the 42 months of Revelation 13:5 is the same amount of time as the 1260 days of Revelation 12:6. So the 42 months were 30-day months.
The same amount of days is spoken of in still different language in Revelation 12:14 as “a time, and times, and half a time.” The “time” is one prophetic year; the “times” is two more prophetic years; and the whole expression is 3 1/2 prophetic “times,” which is a literal 1,260 days--or 3 1/2 years of 30-day months. Seven of these “times” then would be 2520 days--and on a day-for-a-year basis, 2520 years!
Then in Daniel 12:7 the same expression “time, times, and an half [time]” is mentioned.
Enough space is being taken here to make this concept plain, clear, understandable. For it is basic to several key prophecies.
A prophetic “time,” then, is a 360-day year--or a plain 360 days. And during those years of Israel’s punishment, as made plain by combining Leviticus 26:18 with Ezekiel 4:4-6, Numbers 14:34, and Revelation 13:5 and 12:6, each day of a prophetic “time” was one year in fulfillment. In Leviticus 26:18, and in Revelation 12:6 and 13:5, this meaning is verified and proved by the fact that the prophecy was fulfilled in precisely the time indicated.
Birthright Withheld 2520 Years
Now back again to the pivotal prophecy of Leviticus 26.
These Israelites had not listened to God—had not qualified to become recipients of the fabulous, overwhelming birthright national blessing. They had broken especially the two test commandments emphasized in verses 1 and 2 of this chapter. God had punished them in the manner He had said He would, as described in verses 14-17.
Now God said, as quoted before, “And if ye will not yet for all this”--all He had punished them with, described in verses 14-17--“hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”
Because of the manner in which this warning is worded, compared with the manner of wording where the “seven times” is again mentioned—and because the birthright actually was withheld precisely 2520 years—it is certain that the meaning of the “seven times” in verse 18 is a duration of seven 360-day years, each day being a year in fulfillment—total: 2520 actual years! And the very enforcing of the “day-for-a-year principle” also implies a multiplied intensity of the punishment.
Actually, they had sinned the 390 years mentioned in Ezekiel’s prophecy (Ezekiel 4:4-5). Even from the time they rejected God as their national King, God allowed them to remain in the Promised Land those additional 390 years! During all these years God continued to send prophets to warn and plead with them. Had they repented and turned back to God and His ways, they still could have received the richest national blessing of all history. But they would not. Rather, they increased in sins!
So finally God took completely away from them—for a duration of 2520 years--this opportunity to reap such vast material prosperity and power.
Israel Becomes Lost
Finally God drove them out of the Promised Land!
All these 390 years of national sin (Ezekiel 4:5), of rejecting Him and His ways, God continued to deal with them. He kept contact with them. He sent His prophets to them. At any time during these years of their rebellion, they could have repented, turned to God, and received this vast national status.
But now, at last, God drove them out of His land! He “removed them out of his sight” (2 Kings 17:18).
Again it is repeated (verse 23), He “removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”
From that time, God sent no prophets to them. He gave them no more chance to receive the greatest national blessing of all history--until the end of the 2520 years! He hid, as it were, His face from them! He removed them out of His sight. He pleaded no longer with them. They had not qualified for nor deserved His blessings! Now He left them a slave people, to shift for themselves. He left them to their own devices!
They had rejected even the identifying sign by which they were to be known and recognized as God’s people Israel. So now they soon lost even their identity! No longer were they known by the world as God’s people. No longer did they call themselves God’s people.
They became lost! The “lost 10 tribes.” Lost in name. Lost in identity. Lost spiritually! They had lost their tremendous birthright—for a duration of many generations! In due time, as a second and third generation came along, they lost even their Hebrew language! They regarded themselves as Gentiles! The world supposed they were Gentiles! ...
Birthright Conferred at Last!
But when that 2520-year withholding of the birthright had expired, God was faithful to His unconditional promise to Abraham! Not because of any British or American goodness, superiority, or worthiness, but because of God’s faithfulness to His promise, beginning in 1800 these two birthright peoples suddenly burst forth as the greatest world powers in all history!
This national wealth and power came not because our peoples in any manner finally qualified for it. They never did! But consider:
The very fact of a withholding of the birthright from them for a definite duration in itself implies a conferring of it at the end of the 2520 years. And remember, God had promised this birthright to the descendants of Abraham unconditionally because of Abraham’s faithfulness and obedience (Genesis 26:5). God was bound by His promise to confer this stupendous national blessing regardless of the righteousness or wickedness of the descendants. But God had not bound Himself to bestow it upon any one particular generation.
Thus God was able to offer it conditionally to Old Testament Israel in and after Moses’s day. The people of those generations could have had it upon compliance with the conditions! Denying it to those particular generations--withholding it for 2520 long years, even--did not violate God’s unconditional promise to Abraham.
But the very fact of a withholding for the definite duration of 2520 years implies the direct conferring of that national blessing on expiration of that definite period of withholding--regardless of any further qualifying or deserving on the part of the people. This must be so because of God’s faithfulness to His unconditional promise to Abraham.
So--beginning A.D. 1800-1803, after 2520 years--God did cause the birthright nations--and them only--to become suddenly the recipients of such national wealth, greatness and power as no nation or empire ever before had acquired! Together they--the British and Americans, descendants of only one original tribe, Joseph--came into possession of more than two thirds--almost three fourths--of all the cultivated resources and wealth of the whole world!
It sounds incredible! All other nations combined shared between them only little more than a fourth of the world’s wealth. And that includes the nations descended from other tribes of Israel. It includes such nations as Germany, Italy, Russia, China--all other nations on the whole Earth. (Armstrong HW. The United States and Britain in Prophecy. WCG, 1980 edition)
This "seven times" does not refer to seven successive punishments. ... In the 12th chapter of Daniel after Daniel had inquired about HOW LONG it would be until the end of a certain prophecy (verse 7) he was told it would be "for a time, times, and a half" or three and one-half times. (Armstrong HW. What are the Times of the Gentiles. Plain Truth, January 1938, p. 5).
Hence it was a time reference, not a successive reference in Daniel 12:7.
I saw someone post on the internet who liked Herbert W. Armstrong's The United States and Britain in Prophecy book. But another spoke against it as he claimed it was too complicated and the God was always simple. Well notice what the Bible teaches:
9 "Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little."
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, "This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,"
And, "This is the refreshing";
Yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the Lord was to them,
"Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little,"
That they might go and fall backward, and be broken
And snared and caught. (Isaiah 28:9-13)
God will teach knowledge to those who will look at the entire Bible to understand it.
As far as being simple, consider that God made promises in Genesis 48 that did not get fulfilled by the time of the Book of Acts. But since God promised, sometime it had to have happened.
Consider what began to happen to the British 2520 years after 721 B.C.:
The Acts of Union 1800 (sometimes erroneously referred to as a single Act of Union 1801) united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with effect from 1 January 1801. (Acts of Union. Wikipedia, accessed 08/21/17)
1800 ... 4 September – the French garrison in Valletta surrenders to British troops who have been called at the invitation of the Maltese. (1800 in Great Britain. Wikipedia, accessed 08/21/17)
Malta acquired by conquest 1800
Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) organised 1803
Cape of Good Hope taken from the Dutch 1806
Ceylon acquired 1815
West Australia formed into a province 1829
South Australia formed into a province 1834
Hong Kong taken from the Chinese 1841
New Zealand made a separate colony 1841
The Punjab formally annexed 1849
Victoria formed into a province 1850
Second Burmese War: Pegu annexed 1852-53
Oude annexed 1856
India transferred to the Crown 1858
Queensland formed into a province 1859
Queen publicly proclaimed Empress of India 1876
Cyprus taken possession of 1878
New Guinea annexed by Queensland 1883
Upper Burmah annexed 1886 (Robertson AB. Ephraim-England: the sixth century revelation of the fruits of history. James Nisbet, 1886 Original from Harvard University, Digitized Dec 15, 2008, pp. 17-18)
The sun did not set on the British Commonwealth. The British Empire spanned the globe and was composed of a company of nations. This should be 'simple' for those who claim to believe the Bible to accept.
Consider also that in November of 1800, Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the USA. He agreed to the Louisana Purchase from the French in 1803 and greatly expanded because of it.
We have seen world dominance from the British Empire and the USA hegemony the past couple of centuries.
Consider also that the Anglo-American nations are four of the nine wealthiest nations on the earth:
7 May 2018
According to market research company New World Wealth, the world has accumulated $215 trillion in private wealth, a 12% increase over the last year.
Incredibly, the vast majority of this wealth – about 73.5% – is held by just 10 countries: http://www.visualcapitalist.com/chart-the-10-wealthiest-countries-in-the-world/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare
The US is currently the wealthiest country in the world at $62.584 trillion, followed by China ($24.803 trillion; Japan ($19.522 trillion), the UK ($9.919 trillion), Germany ($9.660 trillion), India ($8.230 trillion), France (6.649 trillion), Canada ($6.393 trillion), Australia ($6.142 trillion) and Italy ($4.276 trillion) among the top ten. (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/india-us-china-among-worlds-10-richest-nations)
If you add New Zealand (see New Zealand's net wealth passes $1.5 trillion), then the Anglo-American nations have private wealth of $86.538 trillion, which is 40.25% of the entire world and those nations have about 460,000 people, or 6% of the 2017 world population estimate of 7,600,000.
Truly an economic influence well beyond their relative population size.
But the time of the Anglo-American dominance of the world will end.
What about the Jews as opposed to Israel's grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh?
Consider the following concerning Judah:
Prophecy Concerning Judah
There is one prophecy concerning the Jewish people, that they were to be invaded and conquered, driven out of their own land and would be punished for a period of 2,520 years. (See Leviticus 26:14-39 and, for a full explanation, write for our free book "The United States and Britain in Prophecy".) Now, put that together with other prophecies such as Haggai 2:20-22. Exactly 2,520 years from the time that they were invaded and the land of Palestine was given over to King Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C. the very nation to whom that land was deeded by God Almighty took possession of it.
That nation was not the Jewish people, but birthright people who descended from Abraham. The birthright means right of birth, and includes the possession of the land, that is, it includes material resources and possessions. The possession of the land that God promised to Abraham was handed on to Isaac, Abraham's son, and then to Jacob. And then Jacob, just before he died, and when his eyes were so dim with age that he couldn't see, reached out and conferred that same birthright, including the possession of the land of Palestine, not upon Judah, the father of the Jews, but upon Ephraim, and together with him his brother Manasseh, both sons of Joseph.
Joseph was one of the 12 sons of the ancient patriarch Jacob, who was renamed Israel. Usually you don't hear of any tribe of Joseph because Joseph was given a double portion. And his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, each became a tribe. And so, rather, you usually read of the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh. When the name Joseph is occasionally used, it includes the two tribes.
How Prophecy Was Fulfilled
Ephraim was made the chief birthright holder. And so, 2,520 years from 604 B.C. Ephraim was to take Palestine again counting 2,520 years from 604 B.C. brings us to A.D. 1917.
When it comes to translating time and getting down to an exact day of the year 2,520 years after Nebuchadnezzar came down to Jerusalem and Palestine was surrendered to him, the Bible gives us the date in terms of the Hebrew calendar. That calendar is set up according to the new moons, with every month being 30 or 29 days. Today we're living under what we call the Roman calendar or, as it was slightly altered by Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar. Actually, it is a pagan Roman calendar. The Roman calendar is all that most of us know because we've been born in a world that uses that calendar and no other.
A certain date according to the Hebrew calendar, will coincide with a certain date on the Roman calendar one year, but the next year will be about 11 days earlier, or maybe about 18 days later in the year, because the Hebrew calendar -- sometimes called the sacred calendar, which came from God -- goes according to the moon and runs in 19-year cycles. The Roman calendar by contrast was concocted by men who tried to make it come out right every year, and they've never been able to make it do that!
So, when it comes to translating a certain prophesied date recorded in the Hebrew calendar (in this case the 24th day of the 9th month -- see Haggai 2:20-22) to a date in 1917 according to the Roman calendar, it takes some effort to figure. I found the Hebrew date corresponded to December 9, 1917, which was 2,520 years from the time Nebuchadnezzar accepted the formal surrender of the Jews in 604 B.C.
I looked and found that the Turks, who are gentiles even though they, in part, descend from Esau, Jacob's brother, possessed Palestine in 1917. Esau, remember, anciently possessed the birthright from Abraham through Isaac, but sold it for a bowl of red soup when he was hungry. The Turks surrendered Palestine to the British, on, what date? I had heard, and it had been published that the date was December 11, 1917. December 11, 1917, I found, on further investigation, was merely the date on which General Allenby and his army made their triumphal march into the city of Jerusalem. But it was two days before, on December 9, that the Turks made the surrender.
That prophecy was fulfilled down to the very day, December 9. And it was on the equivalent date, in 604 B.C., 2,520 years before, six centuries before the birth of Christ, that the Jews formally surrendered Jerusalem and Palestine to the gentiles from Babylon. God Almighty has been able to keep his prophecies. (Armstrong HW. The Bible SUPERSTITION OR AUTHORITY? 1985)
The Bible teaches "Ephraim is My firstborn" (Jeremiah 31:9). Ephraim is represented in this age by the British -descended peoples (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy).
Now, let me state that I have verified that December 9, 1917 was indeed the date that the Gentile Turks surrendered to the British (e.g. see https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-12-09/1917-jerusalem-tried-surrender-british-army-cook-who-was-lost-looking-eggs and http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jerusalem-surrenders-to-british-troops accessed 07/28/17). I also verified that the 24th day of the ninth month (Kislev) was on December 9th in 1917 (e.g. http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/?year=1917&month=x&yt=G&v=1&nh=on&nx=on&mf=on&ss=on&o=on&s=on&lg=s&vis=on&D=on&d=on&c=on&city=US-New%20York-NY&m=72#cal-1917-12 accessed 07/28/17).
Let's look at Haggai:
20 And again the word of the Lord came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 "Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying:
'I will shake heaven and earth.
22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother. (Haggai 2:20-22)
Now, there looks to be a future fulfillment of this beyond the overthrowing of the Turkish empire and the surrender of Jerusalem to the British on December 9, 1917.
Let's look at the next verse:
23 'In that day,' says the Lord of hosts, 'I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,' says the Lord, 'and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,' says the Lord of hosts." (Haggai 2:23)
Because Haggai 2:20-23 did not occur in Zerubbabel's lifetime, there must be a future fulfillment. Zerubbabel lived in the sixth century B.C. A 'Zerubbabel' did not become a signet ring in 1917 nor was the strength of the Gentile kingdoms--plural--destroyed then (more on ‘Zerubbabel’ can be found in the article Who Are The Two Witnesses?).
Haggai 2:23 is to be finally fulfilled once Jesus returns.
We have essentially been in the time of the Anglo-American dominance since the 19th century, which is when a major time of the Gentiles essentially ended.
But there is a coming later final time of the Gentiles.
In the 21st century, we are seeing the rise of predominantly Gentile confederations/organizations (see BRICS, Silk Road, SCO, Eurasian Union, and European Union: Final time of the Gentiles?). There is the European Union, China's One-Belt One-Road (Silk Road) project, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS), Mercosur, the Arab League, and the Eurasian Union (now called the Eurasian Economic Union).
Pretty much all of Asia, Australia/New Zealand, and Europe, as well as parts of South America and Africa are involved in these international projects/organizations.
Part of the objective of the BRICS, EAEU, SCO, EU, and Silk Road arrangements is to establish a new world order (SCO, EAEU, and BRICS defining a ‘new world order’?)–an order no longer dominated by the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies, like the UK. And as far as Australia and New Zealand go, they will be ‘swallowed up’ in a sense by one or more Gentile powers–this will happen during the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21; Daniel 8:24-25), which is when the USA will be conquered (Daniel 11:39; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses) as well as Canada and the UK (Daniel 8:24-25; Isaiah 17:3).
How will this end?
Let's look at the following prophecies from the Old and New Testaments:
23 ‘Make a chain,
For the land is filled with crimes of blood,
And the city is full of violence.
24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles,
And they will possess their houses;
I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease,
And their holy places shall be defiled.
25 Destruction comes;
They will seek peace, but there shall be none. (Ezekiel 7:23-25)
6 Ask now, and see,
Whether a man is ever in labor with child?
So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins
Like a woman in labor,
And all faces turned pale?
7 Alas! For that day is great,
So that none is like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble,
But he shall be saved out of it. (Jeremiah 30:6-7)
24 ... And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)
2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. (Revelation 11:2)
Notice that Jeremiah Ezekiel, Jesus (whose words are recorded in Luke), and John (who penned Revelation) were talking about the same time. Jeremiah write of a time none was like it, and it should be noted that in Matthew 24:21 Jesus said "there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be"--this is essentially the same time as what Luke referred to.
Also notice that it is during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” that the “Gentiles” are dominating. This means those that are descended from Israel and/or have the name of Jacob (cf. Genesis 48:14-16) will be mainly be trampled. One of the peoples that God says He will use to punish the descendants of Israel, Assyria (Isaiah 10:5-11), are a Gentile people–they will normally lead during the time of the Gentiles. This will be a terrible time.
The phrase "until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" in Luke 21:24 is also translated: "until the heathen's day is over" (Philips), "until the time granted to the Gentile nations has run out" (Knox), "until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end" (ESV), "till the times of the nations be fulfilled" (DRB) and "until the time of heathen domination will have come to an end" (Norlie).
The final time of the Gentiles includes the last 3 1/2 years before Jesus returns and takes control of the governance of this planet (cf. Revelation 11,19).
Further, consider that the Bible teaches that a time of trouble for the descendants of Israel is coming:
1 "At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)
The expression "the sons of your people" is a reference to the end time physical descendants of Israel as the following essentially confirms:
6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the Lord; ... 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. (Exodus 6:6-7a)
The Israelites were God's people and Daniel was one of them as well (Daniel 1:3-6).
The Great Tribulation will mark the end of the time of Anglo-American dominance and the final forty-two month time of the Gentiles.
Despite what some think, the Great Tribulation will initially mainly be directed to those who are descended from Jacob/Israel:
25… Gentiles, who do not know You…they have eaten up Jacob, Devoured him and consumed him, And made his dwelling place desolate. (Jeremiah 10:25)
So, we see that Gentiles will consume Jacob/Israel. The descendants of which have been the dominant peoples in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (see also Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel).
The final time of the Gentiles coincides with the time of the Great Tribulation and the time of Jacob's troubles--and then after the tribulation, the Day of the Lord which will affect the entire world (for more on the Day of the Lord see When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?).
The Great Tribulation itself is further described in Revelation 6:9-11 (the fifth seal, that seems to occur because the faithful church has suffered martyrdom, cf. Daniel 11:31-35; Matthew 24:9-10), Lamentations, Daniel, and other parts of the Bible. It starts with Matthew 24:21 and Daniel 11:39. Some would call this World War III (WWIII; see also World War III: Steps in Progress and/or watch Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?).
Let's look at Luke again as well as citing something from Mark and Daniel:
20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will 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. (Luke 21:20-24)
14 So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Mark 13:14-15)
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)
31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)
The period of time in Daniel 9:27 is 7 years, which would seem to be correlated to 7 prophetic years of 360 days--for a total of 2520 days.
Notice that Luke shows Jesus tying in the desolation with the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles with Daniel. The final time of the Gentiles is either the entire seven-year period (the week of Daniel 9:27a) or at least begins around the midst of that period (cf. Daniel 9:27b; Revelation 11:2). The Great Tribulation itself starts in the middle of that prophetic seven-year week. But the Gentiles obviously must be rising up prior to then in order to dominate and tread Jerusalem for 42 months.
Notice also the following:
The fifth seal pictures a time of great tribulation — including a martyrdom for religious convictions. The New Testament, along with Revelation, emphasizes its impact on the spiritual people of God — his own Church. The great tribulation also falls on what was God's physical nation — the House of Israel, or the descendants of Jacob's 12 sons. Jeremiah wrote of this period and the events that immediately follow. He cried out: "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7). Daniel called it "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation" (Daniel 12:1). It is the same time described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21. This distress would climax in the death of mankind if Christ failed to intervene in human affairs (verse 22). Immediately following the great tribulation of the fifth seal come the cosmic disturbances of the sixth seal. These herald the beginning of the very last days. As Robert H. Mounce put it, this is the "grim announcement that the end of the world was at hand." (Inside the Book of Revelation Ambassador College Production)
Some wonder why the USA would be destroyed. Well, for one example because of politics, the USA has promoted the LGBTQ agenda around the world (though less so recently under the Trump Administration). For another, because of short-sighted economic problems, the USA has become the most indebted nation of all time. Also, because of sin, greed, and ignorance, America has been into abortion, sexual immorality, & pornography, as well as producing genetically-modified foods. These "foods" are genetically identical which makes them susceptible to total elimination via famine-causing pestilential organisms. I have long suspected that the time will come when some type of pestilence will hit America's genetically-modified grain crops like corn and wreak havoc on the land. Enough so, that this may embolden its enemies to attack Britain and/or the USA to begin the Great Tribulation (for more details, see the article Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse).
Nations will betray the USA, who has been “great among the nations”:
1 How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!
2 She weeps bitterly in the night,
Her tears are on her cheeks;
Among all her lovers
She has none to comfort her.
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
They have become her enemies. (Lamentations 1:1-2)
4 We pay for the water we drink, And our wood comes at a price. 5 They pursue at our heels; We labor and have no rest. 6 We have given our hand to the Egyptians And the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread. 7 Our fathers sinned and are no more, But we bear their iniquities. 8 Servants rule over us; There is none to deliver us from their hand”. (Lamentations 5:4-8)
Notice that the above passage mentions Assyria, which is who God will use to punish the certain descendants of Israel, such as the U.S.A., etc. (see also Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel).
Yet, most in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand do not understand what is now happening on the world scene and how they will be affected.
Destruction will come to the highly indebted suddenly (the USA is the most indebted nation of all time):
8... A plunderer at noonday; I will cause anguish and terror to fall on them suddenly. (Jeremiah 15:8)
6 "Will not all these take up a proverb against him,
And a taunting riddle against him, and say,
'Woe to him who increases
What is not his — how long?
And to him who loads himself with many pledges'?
7 Will not your creditors rise up suddenly?
Will they not awaken who oppress you?
And you will become their booty.
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
All the remnant of the people shall plunder you. (Habakkuk 2:6-8)
The Bible states:
33 I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste (Leviticus 26:33).
How do we know that the Anglo-nations in general, and the USA in particular, and not just the land of Judea are the target of the great tribulation? One reason is Daniel 11:39:
39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:39)
The "he" is the final King of the North, the Beast of Revelation 13. The "strongest fortresses" in the world belong to the USA, and to a lessor degree, its Anglo-allies (see USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses also and/or watch Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?). The strongest fortresses, by the way, cannot be referring to China or Russia as they do not get involved until verse 44 of Daniel 11 (for more details, see King of the North); nor the Arab lands which are invaded in verses 40-43. The current nation of Israel, of course, does not have the strongest fortresses. And dividing the Anglo-lands would bring much more gain, than the land of Judea (see also Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided?). Thus, this is pointing to the Anglo-nations, which currently harbor many in the faithful church.
The last 3 1/2 years prior to the return of Jesus will be also be a time of demonic signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16:12-16; 13:13-15; 18:23; 19:20). These signs will deceive the Gentiles and lead to wars. Most of the physical descendants of Israel will also be deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12; cf. Revelation 7:4-8).
Notice some events that will happen during the time of Jacob's trouble:
1 "And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber's razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. 2 You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. 3 You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment. 4 Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.
5 "Thus says the Lord God: 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. 6 She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.' 7 Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you' — 8 therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. 9 And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations. 10 Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments among you, and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds.
11 'Therefore, as I live,' says the Lord God, 'surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity. 12 One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. (Ezekiel 5:1-12)
While the Great Tribulation will begin with an attack against the USA and some of its Anglo-Saxon descended allies, in time, the rest of the descendants of Israel will also be affected by it, which is what the last portion of Ezekiel 5:4 is pointing to (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy).
Here is some of what the old Radio Church of God taught about it:
In Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24, He was answering the question about the TIME of the end of the world, and the second coming of Christ to rule the world.
Next, WHOSE trouble will this be? WHO will plunge the world into it? We have the what and the when. Now notice the who! The prophet Jeremiah speaks of this SAME time of greatest trouble. “For lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Eternal : and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” (Jer, 30: 3)…
Continue Jeremiah’s prophecy: “For thus saith the Eternal: we have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. A TIME OF WAR! “Alas! for that day is GREAT, so that none is like it. Notice-the same GREATEST time of trouble-so great that NONE IS LIKE IT! Now , upon WHOM? ” .. it is even the time of JACOB’ S TROUBLE but he shall be delivered out of it (Jer. 30: 5,7). It is a world trouble UPON JACOB! …
No WHO is Jacob? …
Who is Jacob today? …
One of the original twelve tribes, Joseph, was given “a double portion,” and became two tribes -Ephraim and Manasseh-so named from the two sons of Joseph. And they were tbe Birthright tribes…
And it was these two tribes who were to bear the NAME Israel: “Let my name be named on them’ said the aged Israel ( Gen. 48:16 ), in passing on the Birth· right promises JUST before his death. And so, in prophecy, the NAME Jacob or the name Israel, often refers to the two great nations descended from Ephraim and Manasseh. These are Great Britain and the United States. The prophesied YOKE of invasion, defeat in war , and slavery, then, is to fall on Britain and the United States! (Armstrong HW. BRITAIN’S DOOM Prophesied for Common Market Seeking Membership! Plain Truth, July 1962)
Currently, we are in the time when the Anglo-Americans, not Gentiles dominate the world.
But the Gentiles will rise up. And for three and half years will tread down Jerusalem.
How bad could it be?
Worse than most any one can imagine. Notice some statements from Jesus:
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)
23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will 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. (Luke 21:23-24)
The late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following in 1979:
What is this abomination? This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15...That will be a time when the UNITED Europe shall appear--the revival of the medieval "Holy Roman Empire." We shall then be warned, and readied to be taken to a place of refuge and safety from the Great Tribulation. Forty-five days later "the beasts armies" will surround Jerusalem. Thirty days later the Great Tribulation will probably start with a nuclear attack on London and Britain--and possibly the same day or immediately after, on the United States and Canadian cities. The GREAT TRIBULATION, we shall fully then realize, is the time of "Jacob's Trouble," spoken of in Jeremiah 30:7. And Jacob's name was named on Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48:16). At that time a third of the people in our nations will die, or shall have died, by famine and disease epidemics; another third will dies of the war--our cities being destroyed (Ezek. 6:6), and the remaining third will be carried to the land of our enemies as slaves (Ezek. 5:12). (Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General's Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2).
Nuclear and other high-tech weapons (as well as emp, electromagnetic pulse, bombs), as well as devastating solar flares, are ways to make land desolate and modern cities waste (for more on emp-weapons and solar flares see Nuclear EMP Attack on UK Called ‘Quite Likely’).
Events that resembles nuclear or similar devastation are part of the prophesied curses mentioned in the Bible:
23 'The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning (Deuteronomy 29:23).
19 Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts
The land is burned up,
And the people shall be as fuel for the fire; No man shall spare his brother.
20 And he shall snatch on the right hand
And be hungry;
He shall devour on the left hand
And not be satisfied; Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm. 21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; Together they shall be against Judah (Isaiah 9:19-21).
6 In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste (Ezekiel 6:6).
How bad will it get?
Notice the following from Jeremiah:
1 How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave! (Lamentations 1:1)
5 Her adversaries have become the master,
Her enemies prosper;
For the Lord has afflicted her
Because of the multitude of her transgressions.
Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy. (Lamentations 1:5)
17 Zion spreads out her hands,
But no one comforts her;
The Lord has commanded concerning Jacob
That those around him become his adversaries; (Lamentations 1:17)
2 The Lord has swallowed up and has not pitied
All the dwelling places of Jacob.
He has thrown down in His wrath
The strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
He has brought them down to the ground;
He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
3 He has cut off in fierce anger
Every horn of Israel;
He has drawn back His right hand
From before the enemy.
He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire
Devouring all around.
4 Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow;
With His right hand, like an adversary,
He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye;
On the tent of the daughter of Zion,
He has poured out His fury like fire. (Lamentations 2:2-4)
1 My eyes fail with tears,
My heart is troubled;
My bile is poured on the ground
Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
Because the children and the infants
Faint in the streets of the city.
12 They say to their mothers,
“Where is grain and wine?”
As they swoon like the wounded
In the streets of the city,
As their life is poured out
In their mothers’ bosom. (Lamentations 2:11-12)
1 “Young and old lie
On the ground in the streets;
My virgins and my young men
Have fallen by the sword;
You have slain them in the day of Your anger,
You have slaughtered and not pitied. (Lamentations 2:21)
8 Now their appearance is blacker than soot;
They go unrecognized in the streets;
Their skin clings to their bones,
It has become as dry as wood.
9 Those slain by the sword are better off
Than those who die of hunger;
For these pine away,
Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.
10 The hands of the compassionate women
Have cooked their own children;
They became food for them
In the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11 The Lord has fulfilled His fury,
He has poured out His fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion,
And it has devoured its foundations. (Lamentations 4:8-11)
15 The joy of our heart has ceased;
Our dance has turned into mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head.
Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our heart is faint;
Because of these things our eyes grow dim; (Lamentations 5:15-17)
Since Jesus said this will be the greatest tribulation of all time, it will be at least as bad as what Jeremiah was inspired to write.
In the Bible, the Prophet Daniel was asked to interpret the handwriting that was written on the wall that the King Belshazzar and others had seen. The moral trend in that kingdom was not good according to Daniel (Daniel 5:22-23). After Daniel told them that, here is the interpretation that he gave of that handwriting on the wall:
24 Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.
25 “And this is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of each word. Mene: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 Tekel: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 Peres: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:24-28)
30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. (Daniel 5:30)
That kingdom was taken over that very night (Daniel 5:30-31):
Xenophon, the Greek historian who wrote the Cyropaedia in the fourth century before Christ, says that "when Cyrus reached Babylon" 539 B.C. he dug channels for the dispersal of the water in the river Euphrates which ran under the gates of Babylon. Then he and THE MEDO-PERSIAN ARMY SECRETLY ENTERED THE RIVER BED, climbed stealthily through the gates along the river and rushed to the palace "when he heard chat there was a festival in Babylon, in which all the Babylonians drank and revelled the whole night." It was the night of the new moon of the seventh month of the Babylonian year. Upon reaching the palace where Belshazzar had seen the handwriting on the wall, they "burst in, and, pursuing those who fled, and dealing blows amongst them, came up to the king, and found him in a standing posture with his sword drawn. [They] mastered him." So Belshazzar the King in Babylon — was killed that night exactly as Daniel said. (Hoeh H. There is a Way of Escape. Plain Truth, 1970)
Interestingly, Daniel only mentioned the word "Mene" once and did not mention its second time, indicating that this prophecy would have a second fulfillment. The old Radio Church of God felt that this prophecy would have a second fulfillment as well:
Now this prophecy of Belshazzar’s feast was sot a message for that day only. Do you realize that even Daniel didn’t understand what he was inspired to write? Notice it in Daniel the 12th chapter, the 8th and the 9th verses:
“And I heard, but I understood not. And then I said, ‘0 my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?”’ Daniel wrote what an angel had been revealing to him. The angel said, “Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed and sealed till the time of the end.” Even Daniel didn’t understand what he was inspired to write.
A WARNING for Today!
Do you realize that the Jews were already in captivity when Daniel wrote? This prophecy of the handwriting on the wall was not for them. It came too late to save them. ...
Why This Warning Was Written!
This warning came TOO LATE to save Belshazzar. This account was written FOR YOU ... It wasn’t written for the Jews of that day. It was written for us today, and WE HAVE TIME To HEED. We have the to escape the destruction that is now threatening you and me--if we wake up. ...
The REAL MEANING
“Then Daniel made answer to the king, ‘Keep your gifts for yourself, and give your rewards to someone else. However, I will read the writing for the king, and let him know the meaning of it. 0 king, the Most High God gave king Nebuchadnezzar, your father, the realm’.’’
He is showing here once again that God is the Most High Ruler. He makes and unmakes nations. ...
King Belshazzar had fallen into the illusion that grips most of you TODAY. God had become UNREAL! God seemed to be FAR OFF! God seemed like a myth. Their minds were turned only to the things that they could see, material objects, the things of materialism. A material mind only knows material things, and God does seem like a myth, far off.
God ENDED that world-kingdom! God makes and unmakes nations and empires. ...
The handwriting is upon the wall of America, of Christendom, this hour. There is protection for you if you will open your eyes to God’s prophecies--if you wiIl study your Bible, if you will surrender your life to your Creator, if you will only come to Him in obedience in living faith through Jesus Christ! (Armstrong HW. The Handwriting is on the Wall of America NOW! Plain Truth, March 1956)
Before going further, let me state that various churches (including the old Worldwide Church of God) have taught that the 'value' of the four words of the handwriting added up to 126 shekels, which equals 2520 gerahs. That would be seven 360 day prophetic years, 2520 days (the old WCG once taught it could be 2520 years from Belshazzar's demise, but prophetically, that does not seem to be the case when we look at history in the year 1980, which is 539 BC plus 2520 years).
As mentioned earlier, there is a period of time of seven years mentioned later in Daniel's writings, in Daniel 9:27 (see The 'Peace Deal' of Daniel 9:27). Once a particular deal is confirmed by a 'prince,' the civilizations of the world will only have seven years until Jesus will return and then:
15 “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15)
The final Babylonian kingdom will fall (Revelation 18).
Hence that also seems to point to the time when the seven-year 'peace deal' of Daniel 9:27 will be confirmed for. The final countdown will then begin. The Gentiles will officially being rising up--and they is only for 42 months that the Gentiles "will tread the holy city" of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:2).
We could consider that when what is prophesied to happen in Daniel 9:27 occurs (see The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27), it will be about 2520 days until the establishment of the millennial Kingdom of God.
The Bible shows that it will be dominated at first by a Babylonian power from Europe:
1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:1-18)
The seven-hill city, according to even Roman Catholic sources, is Rome. Many European symbols clearly tie it in with Babylon–including its statues of the woman Europa riding a Beast and the unfinished European Parliament building in Stasbourg, France reminscient of the Tower of Babel (to see those and other EU Babylonian symbols, check out the post: EU symbols and the ‘daughter of Babylon’).
Notice further that there is a Catholic prophecy that shows the taking over of North America:
Zachary the Armenian (published 1854 and summarized in 2010): And then there would be the war that the prophecy refers to as “the struggle of the strong, against the strong”. This empire of the north…will go to war against North America and North America will be fall and be conquered and brought into bondage. The next phase is the most frightful thing of all. It is then that Zachary says this text published in 1854, “and then the whole world fell under the dominion of the first born of hell.” (Originally by Priest Fattecelli, Day of Anger: The Hand of God Upon an Empire, 1854, as paraphrased by Priest P. Kramer, What are the missing contents of the third secret? Fatima Crusader, 95, Summer 2010, pp. 45-46)
North America would clearly include the USA and Canada. Since Zachary is discussing the dominion of the first born son of perdition (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12), the above is clearly teaching that this would happen at the start of the Great Tribulation. This is consistent with the understanding of the Philadelphian remnant of the Church of God on these matters (though we do not believe that God inspired this Zachary).
So why quote Zachary? Well, his writing is consistent with the following ones in the Bible:
19 And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be…23 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. 24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. 25 “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means. 26 “And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.” (Daniel 8:19,23-26)
39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain (Daniel 11:39).
The “he” in Daniel 11:39 is identified as the King of the North in the next verse of that chapter. He will rule a European empire.
The strongest fortresses in the world belong to the USA and to a much lessor extent, its English-speaking allies (for a more detailed explanation of why the USA and its Anglo-allies are involved, as well as the dividing of their lands, please see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel). Some would call the attack by this northern empire World War III (WWIII).
Lest any think that this will only affect the USA, notice that biblical Ephraim, which is the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will not fare well in this order:
3 The fortress also will cease from Ephraim. (Isaiah 17:3)
And as far as Australia and New Zealand themselves go, they will be ‘swallowed up’ in a sense by one or more Gentile powers that will be in some type of an agreement with the European power. It is likely that this will involve one or more Asiatic nations.
Now, ultimately the Bible shows that the Babylonian power will fall:
1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:1)
Asiatic powers like Russia and China will be used by God to punish Babylon:
9 For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon
An assembly of great nations from the north country,
And they shall array themselves against her;
From there she shall be captured.
Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior;
None shall return in vain. (Jeremiah 50:9)
50:41 “Behold, a people shall come from the north,
And a great nation and many kings
Shall be raised up from the ends of the earth.
42 They shall hold the bow and the lance;
They are cruel and shall not show mercy.
Their voice shall roar like the sea;
They shall ride on horses,
Set in array, like a man for the battle,
Against you, O daughter of Babylon.
43 “The king of Babylon has heard the report about them,
And his hands grow feeble;
Anguish has taken hold of him,
Pangs as of a woman in childbirth…”(Jeremiah 50:41-43)
After this, the nations of the world will gather together:
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” 16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16).
Here we see that the kings of the East are those that need to cross the Euphrates. Russia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and others are from the north and east and also probably “kings of the East.” There will be a gathering at Armageddon.
Is all hopeless?
The time of Gentile domination is prophesied (Ezekiel 7:24, 30:1-3, 34:25-30; Jeremiah 10:25; Luke 21:23-24; Revelation 11:2).
The expression 'In that day' is used in many prophesies for the time at/after Jesus returns (e.g. Isaiah 2:11,17,20; 3:7,18; 4:1-2), including when Jesus comes to Jerusalem:
8 And in that day it shall be
That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem,
Half of them toward the eastern sea
And half of them toward the western sea;
In both summer and winter it shall occur.
9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.
In that day it shall be —
"The Lord is one,"
And His name one. (Zechariah 14:8-9)
That is when the final time(s) of the Gentiles will come to its end.
Yet first, the end of the blessings of Israel and the dominance of the Anglo-American powers--the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)--the Great Tribulation--is coming.
The Bible shows that the remnant of Israel will be shamed, for a time, by Gentiles but then the Lord will come:
25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God.'” (Ezekiel 34:25-30)
7 "Therefore, behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "that they shall no longer say, 'As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,' 8 but, 'As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.' And they shall dwell in their own land." (Jeremiah 23:7-8)
Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), will return and destroy the predominantly Gentile powers that will be united to fight against Him:
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21)
The old Worldwide Church of God taught:
With the second coming of Christ, the “times of the Gentiles” will at last come to an end. (Stump K. The Arab World in Prophecy. Plain Truth, December 1979, p. 38)
Jesus will return and establish the millennial Kingdom of God.
Currently, a new world order is developing. Many in the world are working against the hegemony of the USA, and to a lessor degree its Anglo-Saxon descended allies.
But what about individual Christians?
Is there any protection during that final 42 months of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord?
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25-26)
Although your nation probably will not repent (Anglo or otherwise), you can.
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
Watch, pray, examine yourself, and live as Jesus wants His most faithful to live. Jesus warned that some who thought that they were His people would not do that until it was too late (Matthew 25:1-13).
All Christians are NOT promised protection from what is coming:
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:14-17)
Most Christians will not be protected. But Revelation 12:14 shows that for the 42 two months (time, times, and half a time) some will be.
So which Christians are protected? See what Jesus told the Philadelphian Christians:
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."' (Revelation 3:7-14)
Philadelphians are not just focused on themselves, but truly care about others to go through the doors that Jesus opened to do the work (see also The Final Phase of the Work).
The Bible clearly teaches that there is a place of safety for the Philadelphians.
As shown earlier in this article, a terrible time is coming.
Those that are Christians, but lukewarm Christians, are admonished by Jesus to repent:
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:14-19)
Seek to live as a Philadelphian Christian.
Before the Great Tribulation a witness will go out (Matthew 24:14) from the Continuing Church of God. Do not wait until it is too late (cf. Matthew 25:1-13).
Some will be converted and survive the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord (Revelation 7:9-10). It remains likely that many of the Protestants that survive the tribulation (whether or not they believed in a pre-tribulation view of Christ’s return) as well as a lot of Greco-Roman Catholics (and those of non-biblically-claimed faiths will be as well) will be part of the great multitude of those converted during the tribulation through the Continuing Church of God message which will mainly then be brought to the world by The Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:3-13) and the three angels (Revelation 14:6-11; see also The Final Phase of the Work).
Sadly, most people will not repent when they should and most Christians will wait until it is too late to become Philadelphian (cf. Revelation 3, 12:17; Daniel 7:25b).
Jesus mentioned "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24).
God promised blessings and curses to the children of Israel (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28).
For over two centuries, the Kingdom of Israel arose and had prominence in the area sometimes referred to as Palestine.
In the Old Testament, Bible showed the separation between Judah and the tribes of Israel. The Bible prophesied of a time when blessings would be taken away, and then granted.
The old Radio/Worldwide Church of God calculated that the time of the Gentiles for Israel was from roughly 721-718 B.C. to A.D. 1800-1803. It also speculated that the time of the Gentiles dominating Jerusalem was from to 604 B.C. to A.D. 1917. Because these dates fit with 2,520 years, it is believed that this confirmed that interpretation of Leviticus 26.
History shows that the Anglo-Amercan powers have dominated the world since about 1800--over two centuries.
Jerusalem has, at least partially, been under British and then Jewish control since December 9, 1917.
So we see two 2,520 year periods that were in the past. One of which involved the British and Americans and the other of which involved the British and Jerusalem.
Both of these blessings of the Anglo-American-Judah times will end and be replaced by the final time of the Gentiles.
The time of the Gentiles is not the same as the fullness of the Gentiles being called to be Christian as some claim.
There is prophesied time that Gentiles will control Jerusalem (Revelation 11:2) and that will end (cf. Zechariah 14:1-4; Revelation 19). This is the time that the faithful Philadelphian Christians are to be protected (Revelation 3:7-13; 12:14-16).
Once a particular deal has a confirmation by a 'prince' (Daniel 9:26-27), in a very real sense, we will see the "handwriting on the wall" for the USA and its British-descended allies.
The final approximately 2520 days until Jesus establishes the millennial Kingdom of God will include the final time of the Gentiles.
When that Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) starts (see When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?) it will not be a good time for the USA (Daniel 11:39) nor its Anglo-Allies (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy). It will impact the entire world as it will be followed by the Day of the Lord.
Sadly, many will be complacent and not really think it will happen, but that will be a mistake:
9 Rise up, you women who are at ease, Hear my voice; You complacent daughters, Give ear to my speech. 10 In a year and some days You will be troubled, you complacent women; For the vintage will fail, The gathering will not come. 11 Tremble, you women who are at ease; Be troubled, you complacent ones; Strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, And gird sackcloth on your waists. 12 People shall mourn upon their breasts For the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. 13 On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers, Yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city; 14 Because the palaces will be forsaken, The bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks — (Isaiah 32:9-14)
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
"Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? (Isaiah 33:14)
While it is important not to discount that the Great Tribulation is coming, one should also not believe it is coming before it can (cf. Revelation 22:18-19; see also
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?).
Although many in the Church of God have experienced economic and social persecution in their walk with Christ, future severe persecution, beginning first with the Philadelphia remnant of Christians, is expected (Daniel 7:25a, 11:28-35), it is then followed by persecution on all Christians once the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21; Daniel 7:25b; Revelation 13:5-7) begins.
While many like to focus on the idea that the Philadelphians will flee to a place of protection, it needs to be understood that there will apparently be a time of severe persecution just prior to the fleeing and the start of the Great Tribulation.
Prophecy is clear that there will a 42 month period that that Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles (Revelation 11:2).
In a sense, there is possibly one lasting 2520 days (7 years) where the British-Americans will lose their dominance--at minimum their nations will essentially be gone for the same 42 months that Jerusalem is trampled during the time of the Gentiles.
But when Jesus returns the final time of the Gentiles will be over.
A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.