ISRAEL - Bible Study Notes
The Destruction of Jerusalem marked the beginning of Times of the Gentiles. In Luke 21:24, Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trampled until the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (cf Rev 11:4). Jerusalem is still being trampled by other nations. The epochal event that ends this season has not yet occurred so we are currently living in the Times of the Gentiles.
Paul explains the reason for the Times of the Gentiles in the book of Romans. In Romans 10:21 he describes Israel as a disobedient nation. Although a few have been saved, as a nation they are shut off from God. They have been hardened (11:25), enemies of the gospel (11:28) committed to disobedience (11:31) and broken out of the vine (11:17).
This is the reason why the battle has been so hard for the last two millennia. Part of the team is missing. The church is not complete so it has not been functioning at full power.
When Jesus died upon the cross, the devil was totally and fully defeated. He was cast out of heaven (Rev 12:13) and can only continue to function on earth if he can deceive people into rejecting the gospel. However he does have one last legal right on earth. Because Israel is under judgement (Matt 23:39), Satan has had the right to execute its judgement by working evil that will affect them. Furthermore, because the Jews had been scattered among the nations, he has been able to work in all the nations.
Whenever, Satan wants to do great evil in a nation, he incites it to attack the Jews and then he has a greater authority to do his work. For example, Satan incited both Hitler and Stalin to attack the Jews. This enabled him to do great evil through them.
The rejection of Israel has also given Satan a legal right to continue workin in the world, despite his defeat. Because he has had this freedom work in the world, the Kingdom has not come to its proper fulfilment.
We can expect the rise and decline of the Kingdom to continue until the times of the Gentiles are finished.
The important question is how the Fullness of Israel will come about. The key to this is understanding that their problem is "seeing". Romans tells us that their eyes have been blinded so they cannot see the truth and their hearts have been hardened in part (11:25). To come to salvation their spiritual eyes will have to be opened.
Zechariah 12: 10 speaks of a time when God will pour his spirit out on Israel so that there eyes will be opened and they will see Jesus as he really is. Ezekiel 39:29 says that God will no longer hide his face from Israel, but will pour out his Spirit on the house of Israel. A great outpouring of the Spirit will bring about the Fullness of Israel (not the Second Coming of Jesus).
This will bring about a time of great blessing – "riches to the world" (Romans 11:12). Satan’s last authority on earth will be gone and he will be routed. This is not a change in game plan. The Jews receive salvation like everyone else, by repenting and believing in Jesus (Mat 23:39).