What Are the Times of the Gentiles?
Jesus Christ prophesied of a time that would take place shortly before His return to Earth—a time of the greatest suffering in human history. He called it “the times of the Gentiles.”
Do you believe these words of Jesus?
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. … For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20, 22). The Bible is full of prophecies of this horrific time, and Christ said all of them will be fulfilled within a short span of time. If you follow the signs He gave us, you know that time is about here.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (verse 24).
These “times of the Gentiles” are yet to be fully realized. However, we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm. Events taking place in Ukraine with Russia, along with those in the Middle East and Iran, have everything to do with this prophecy.
This is part of the core of biblical prophecy—right out of your Bible! Yet, we don’t hear much about the times of the Gentiles today. Why not?
Who Are the Gentiles?
In this prophecy, Christ said Jerusalem will be surrounded by massive armies. These armies will be led by men who have wild and ferocious minds, like those of a beast.
This crisis is building around Jerusalem today. The Jews have many enemies—not only Iran, but many Gentile nations. Almost all Gentile nations are very hostile and hateful toward the Jews. However, they are hostile to more than just the Jews.
Israel is a lot more than the little nation in the Middle East. There are 12 nations of Israel on Earth. God is warning three in particular because they are the birthright nations and the scepter nation. Read our article “America’s Lost Identity” for an introduction on proving this important truth.
Once you understand who Israel is, then you can understand how the Gentiles—the non-Israelite peoples—have started to take charge of the world right now.
While there are many Gentile nations around today, when this prophecy is completely fulfilled there will be two major powers—one revolving around Russia and China, and the other around Germany. Each will have strong allies, making the clash between these Gentiles the worst ever on Earth.
Some history will help you recognize how we are entering the times of the Gentiles today.
Successive Gentile Powers
Over 2,500 years ago, the powerful Babylonian Empire was ruled by King Nebuchadnezzar. This great Gentile king came into contact with the Prophet Daniel, who wrote the book of Daniel in the Bible.
Daniel gave Nebuchadnezzar a warning directly from God, but the king would not submit. Therefore God dethroned Nebuchadnezzar and sent him out to the field, making him eat grass like an animal. Seven years passed before Nebuchadnezzar finally acknowledged that God rules in the kingdom of men (Daniel 5:21). This is a lesson all mankind will learn one day soon.
Daniel 2 records how God revealed a powerful dream to Nebuchadnezzar. The great image featured in the dream prophesied of successive world-ruling powers. They were the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and, lastly, the Romans, an empire prophesied elsewhere to be resurrected 10 separate times. This one image provides an incredible overview of world history under these Gentile powers.
Daniel 7 is a companion prophecy. It describes these same four kingdoms—but pictures them as “four great beasts” (verse 3). And in these prophecies, the kingdom and the king are used interchangeably.
There is a reason God uses this terminology: Every leader of these Gentile kingdoms was under the sway of an evil spiritual influence—and came to have the mind of a wild, fierce beast! When such men attain power, they become cunning, ferocious beasts. Throughout history they have routinely thought like wild animals, wanting to conquer, pillage, burn and destroy.
God calls these leaders beasts for a reason! Yet people don’t believe God. Somehow, the leaders of Israel think our modern world has evolved to surpass that evil nature. In reality, we haven’t even seen the worst of these beasts. The worst time of the Gentiles is yet ahead of us!
Think about Adolf Hitler, one of those beast-like leaders. Before World War ii, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried to make peace with this man. His diplomacy almost caused Britain and Europe to lose World War ii. You cannot reason with a wild, ferocious beast! We keep thinking diplomacy will solve all our problems. However, diplomacy solves nothing if it isn’t backed up with real power.
Can a good diplomat win over the mind of a vicious, wild beast?
America’s Disappearing Will
The big reason these powers are rising today traces back to the power vacuum created by America’s weakness—and the disappearance of America’s will.
Gentiles have utter contempt for the weak.
In recent years, America has demonstrated its lack of will to use its power in several international arenas. Most recently, it has done nothing to prevent Russia from taking over Ukraine.
Recognizing that weakness, China is asserting its power in the South China Sea by making territorial claims on Okinawa, which belongs to Japan, and also areas around the Philippines. America’s broken will is motivating these actions.
Throughout history, China has often taken on an expansionist policy to conquer, destroy, subdue and enslave people. That same policy is starting to materialize again, yet the United States acts like China has changed from its historical nature.
China also recently gave mobile missile launchers to North Korea, which will upgrade its ability to attack the United States with nuclear weapons. If China were Washington’s friend and ally, would it do such things? Furthermore, if China still feared the United States, would it act so brazenly against American interests?
China’s actions prove that Gentiles are rising to power before our eyes! And this is just one of many Gentile nations growing more aggressive on the world scene.
The U.S. is no longer asserting itself as it should, which is putting its allies on shaky ground. It is slashing defense spending and shrinking its nuclear arsenal—while many other nations race to build nuclear bombs! How will America protect itself?
While many will rejoice at the United States’ demise, this trend is building to catastrophe like never before seen! As the U.S. falls in power, it will be replaced by leaders who act like wild, raging beasts!
‘By His Servants’
Anciently, God sent Daniel to warn Nebuchadnezzar and his successors of what would befall their empires. God actually spoke through this man.
Notice this point from later in Daniel’s book: “Neither have we [Israel] obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets” (Daniel 9:10). Daniel discusses the voice of God. However, God didn’t speak in person; He worked through Daniel. Believe it or not, He works through one man today—a man who must follow Daniel’s example.
Daniel also wrote that God set His voice before His people “by his servants the prophets.” This shows there is to be a Daniel-type prophecy going out about the times of the Gentiles!
Who in this end time is telling us that we are facing the times of the Gentiles? That time is right before us!
“Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him” (verse 11). All the way back in the law of Moses—which is the first five books of the Bible—God prophesied what would happen to Israel in this end time. For example, in Leviticus 26:19, God said, I’m going to break the pride of your power. You’ll have lots of power but lack the courage to use it. This has happened to Israel—specifically to America and Britain.
Daniel wrote about “the curse” upon Israel. When you break God’s commands, He has no choice but to turn against you and punish you for your sins. That is the curse!
Daniel continued, “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth” (Daniel 9:13). Daniel is saying, We need to pray to God and turn from our evil ways. You must turn your life around if God is to help you.
He is talking to all Israel! You must know who Israel is in order to understand this!
“Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice” (verse 14). Do you believe in a God who brings destruction upon His own people because of their evil ways? That is what Scripture describes!
God even brings destruction upon His own Church because of its sins! “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar [a symbol of the ministry], and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:1-2).
It is given to the Gentiles, God says—another reference to the times of the Gentiles! In this end time, 95 percent of God’s own people will have to be plunged into the greatest suffering ever—in an effort to motivate them to repent!
This scripture also talks about the small portion of God’s people in the inner court who are faithful in proclaiming the message for God. The majority are in the outer court, where God does not dwell. God promises to take His inner court people to a place of protection shortly before the Second Coming (e.g. Revelation 12:14). But those outside will have to experience the wrath of these Gentile leaders who have minds like ferocious, wild, ravaging beasts! How much mercy are those leaders going to show?
God’s own people who have rebelled against Him will have to go through all this misery and suffering to save even half of them. The other half will lose their eternal lives! (e.g. Matthew 25:1-13; Jeremiah 24).
Look at history, and you see the savagery mankind is capable of. You also realize humanity is degenerating: The last empire described in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 is far more brutal, savage and uncivilized than the first. Man is not evolving and getting better and better—he is getting worse and worse. Look at the destruction mankind wreaked in World War ii—then think of the horrific destruction prophesied to come in the near future. This is the complete opposite of getting better and better.
This is terrifying news. Luke’s record of Christ’s prophecy says it will be a time of “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26).
However, notice the very next verse! “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (verse 27). These times of the Gentiles lead directly to the return of Jesus Christ! He will finally put down the beast-like rulers so they are no longer able to tear apart mankind! Now that is good news!