The governments of man have created untold misery over the millennia. But not until the final days of human history, just ahead of us, will the world witness the fullest extent of how grievous human rule can be.
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.
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 era, 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 almost 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 Xinjiang and Hong Kong, China, in Russia and its periphery, in Europe and Latin America and in the Middle East, 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 would be surrounded by armies bent on its desolation. This crisis is building around Jerusalem today. The Jews have many enemies—not only Iran, but many other nations. Almost all Gentile nations are hostile and hateful toward the Jews. However, they are hostile to more than just the Jews.
The name Israel refers to a lot more than just the little nation in the Middle East. The biblical nation of Israel was composed of 12 tribes, and Judah—from which the Jews are descended—was only one of those tribes. The other tribes of Israel are scattered across the Earth. For a thorough and illuminating explanation, order your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Once you understand who Israel is, then you can see how the Gentiles—the non-Israelite peoples—have started to take charge of the world already.
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, the Persians, the 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.
As the U.S. falls in power, it is being replaced by leaders who act like wild, raging beasts!
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 beyond that evil nature. In reality, we haven’t even seen the most savage of these beasts! The worst times of the Gentiles are 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 guaranteed defeat for Britain and Europe in 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 contempt for the weak.
In recent decades, America has demonstrated its lack of will to decisively use its power in several international arenas. Right now there is a temporary resurgence taking place under President Donald Trump, but it is not enough to reverse this trend—certainly not in the long term.
Recognizing this weakness, China has been asserting its power in the South China Sea and tightening its control over the people of Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Russia is claiming more and more power over former Soviet nations, including Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus. It is also pushing its weight around in the Middle East. Iran is also becoming more belligerent. America’s broken will is a big part of what is motivating these actions.
Throughout history, China has often taken on an expansionist policy to conquer, destroy, subdue and enslave people. In recent years, the United States has acted like China has changed, but that same policy is materializing again, stronger than ever.
Russia and China are also defying the U.S. by supporting North Korea, upgrading Kim Jong-un’s ability to attack South Korea, Japan and even the U.S. with nuclear weapons! If China and Russia were concerned about the general welfare of mankind, would they do that? If they still respected the United States, would they act so brazenly against American interests?
Russia’s and China’s actions prove that Gentiles are rising to power before our eyes! And these are just two of many Gentile nations growing more aggressive on the world scene.
U.S. weakness is putting its allies on dangerous ground. Many nations are realizing they cannot trust America for protection anymore. They have to make peace with China, Russia and these other nations if they are to survive in the new global order that is taking shape.
Again, under the Trump administration, America is showing more spine to the world’s aggressors than previous recent administrations. But Bible prophecy shows that this is only a temporary resurgence in America’s foreign policy. It will not last longer than one more U.S. presidential election!
Is that an urgent crisis??
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!
Here are some other prophecies that describe the unparalleled adversity of this coming “times of the Gentiles.” Daniel called it “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Daniel 12:1). The Prophet Jeremiah said, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s [another name for Israel] trouble …” (Jeremiah 30:7). Jesus Christ Himself prophesied, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
Look at the intense trouble and tribulation throughout history! Imagine a time worse than any before!
Many other Bible prophecies show that the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons mankind has invented are going to be used on a mass scale. (Request my free booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door’) Christ went on to say, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved alive”! (verse 22; Moffatt translation).
This is the ghastly culmination of 6,000 years of man’s rule over man! This is the nightmare awaiting mankind just ahead.
‘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.
“[W]hy will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11). Will Israel repent? I see no such signs. But there is mind-staggering hope in spite of what Israel does.
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 in the end time about the times of the Gentiles!
Who in this modern day is proclaiming that we are facing the times of the Gentiles? That horrifying time is almost upon 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” (Daniel 9:11).
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 will break the pride of your power. You will have lots of power but will lack the courage to use it. This has happened to the modern-day nations of Israel—specifically to America and Britain.
Daniel wrote about “the curse” on 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 even parts of the world in the modern day—and you see what 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 desolation mankind wreaked in World War ii—then think of the horrific devastation 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 “[m]en’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).
This is the ultimate consequence of man’s rule over other men! Six thousand years of human rule are going to culminate in a nuclear world war that would actually annihilate all mankind if Jesus Christ didn’t intervene to stop it! How sick is the human mind! How desperately we need God!
Thankfully, Christ will intervene. 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!