Good morning everyone. Before I speak, we’ve got the magazine Light for the Last Days at the printers at the moment and it should be ready for mailing out next month, not tomorrow, but a week on Monday. So, if you would like to come and help us do that, you are most welcome.
Also, I’m getting ready the This Month in Prophecy talk which I’m hoping to complete this week. And we’re planning to record the talk on Sunday evening, next Sunday evening at about 6:30pm. It won’t be a Sunday evening service, but we will be having the church open and then, I’ll be giving that talk next Sunday evening.
A lot happening in the world, a lot of things happening which line up with the Bible prophecies and the Second Coming of Jesus. And it seems to be accelerating. All the time we’re moving towards the return of the Lord and I believe that we need to know about these things.
Last week Trevor Stewart-Sweet spoke about the difference between the fulness of the gentiles times and
the fulness of the gentiles
Today I’m going to talk about that and I’ll explain what it means. Let’s just have a word of prayer as we come to the scriptures:
Lord, we thank you that we can meet in your name. Thank you for your Word. I pray that you bless me, bless the congregation as I speak, and help us Lord to understand these things and guide me by your holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ Name, amen.
The fulness of the gentiles and the times of the gentiles. Now, Trevor threw out a line last week. I don’t know if you picked it up, but he said that these are two different events. That set me thinking. I thought, is that true? That’s interesting. And I went for a walk on Wednesday over to Totteridge Fields which is a nice place to go to if you like the countryside in north London. I went on my own and as I was going around, I felt the Lord was showing me certain things about this particular subject. So, I’m going to share it with you today. The times of the gentiles and the fulness of the gentiles although about gentiles
is also all about Israel and ties in with God’s purposes for Israel. If you read the scriptures, you can see clearly that God says that Israel has a special place in God’s plan and that the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is a sign of the Second Coming of Jesus. The Psalm says
When you see something happening in the Middle East, the Jews going back to Israel, it’s a sign of the soon coming of Jesus the Messiah.
Let’s have a look at this subject in two scriptures: in Romans chapter 11 which Trevor was speaking on last week, particularly concerning God’s dealings with Israel in the last days and this verse (verse 25) says:
In the NIV, it says Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the gentiles has come in and, in this way, all Israel will be saved. We have the concept here of some kind of hardening of heart amongst Israel, the Jewish people towards Jesus until something significant happens.
Paul says that there will be individual Jews who will be saved (such as himself), but that, as far as national Israel is concerned, there’ll be a kind of cutting off and God will no longer be dealing with them in the way He was under the Old Covenant with national Israel.
He will deal with them through a new body which is the Body of Christ Jesus the Messiah. This doesn’t mean that God is finished with Israel, it means that now, God is mediating His covenant through the ecclesia which is ‘those who are called out’ from Jews and gentiles into the body of Christ. In other words, what we call the ‘believing church’.
Paul says that there’ll be a hardening of heart amongst Jewish people which is something that, sadly, has happened. That we have Jewish people who believe in Jesus but that the majority of Jews don’t believe in Jesus. And the rabbis tell Jewish people definitely not to believe in Jesus. According to Jewish traditions, Jesus is for the joy for the gentiles ‘not for us’ they say. We, of course, believe that Jesus is for the Jewish people.
Part of God’s purpose in the end times is to bring these together, to bring gentiles to the understanding of Israel, but also to bring Jewish people, in the end, to the recognition that Yeshua / Jesus is the Messiah.
In this passage in Romans it says that the hardening of heart will come until the fulness of the gentiles has come in, and so, all Israel will be saved.
There will be a full number of gentiles who come in, of non-Jews who come into the body of Messiah. Then, there’s going to be a movement of salvation towards Israel which will reach its climax with the coming of the deliverer.
At the end of this process, all Israel will be saved.
I agree with what Trevor said last week. He said that all Israel will be saved. This means that, at this point, there will only be saved Israelites or saved Jewish people who will be left because it will be after this return of Jesus Christ, when He will set up his Kingdom with those who have been redeemed and who are saved Israelites, ruling from Jerusalem.
And Paul’s quote here is from Isaiah 59. If you go back to Isaiah 59, you see that in the context it is actually speaking about a time when Israel is oppressed by an overwhelming enemy and the Lord raises up a standard against this enemy and saves Israel. In fact, Isaiah 59 verse 19 says:
So, this speaks about a time coming when the Lord’s going to come to save Israel from an enemy coming in like a flood which corresponds also to the Second Coming of Jesus the Messiah.
If you put all this together, in this verse, you have an order of events which takes place:
First of all, the fulness of the gentiles coming in
Then the Lord moves upon the Jews who go through a time of trouble
But are rescued from it by the coming of the deliverer, the redeemer who is Yeshua
And he comes to save those who turn to the Lord in repentance and faith in Himself.