The Gentiles In Prophecy
Updated: Feb 9
Day 24 of the 24 Day Prophecy Study
Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide
Much of the Old Testament is taken up with God’s dealings with Israel. But, throughout the Bible, we also see God’s dealings with the Gentiles. As a result, we can trace the program that God has for the Nations.
There are two ways to study this subject: specific prophecies and sweeping prophecies. Specific prophecies would include details about various nations and peoples, such as Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, Ninevah, Babylon, Moab, Ammon, Edom, and many others. For our study, we will look at some of the sweeping prophecies that are found in the Scriptures.
The Dispersion of the Gentiles
Gen. 11:7-9 - Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
While Israel was scattered several times in history, the Gentiles had one major scattering. This is where we currently are in history, Gentiles are scattered over the face of the earth.
The Gentiles in the Present
Two Sweeping Prophecies Concerning God’s Plan for the Gentiles
* The Times of the Gentiles
* The Fullness of the Gentiles
Currently, as the Gentiles are scattered over the face of the earth, we are in a time period called in Scripture, “the times of the Gentiles.”
Luke 21:24 - and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
The times of the Gentiles is a period of time that began with Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire and will continue until the second coming of Jesus the Messiah to the earth. The key characteristic during this time is, the Gentiles have dominance over the city of Jerusalem.
Daniel 2:31-45 is a description of the times of the Gentiles. These verses contain the dream that Daniel interpreted for Nebuchadnezzar consisting of the image of gold, silver, bronze, iron and iron and clay. Each of these metals represents a world empire that was, or will be on earth, when the Messiah Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives to establish His kingdom. The world empires spoken of by Daniel are: the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greecian Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Revived Roman Empire.
Has the times of the Gentiles come to an end? Some think it did after the 1967 war, since Israel gained access to the Wailing Wall and Jerusalem. However, Scripture teaches that it has not come to an end.
Rev. 11:1-2 - Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
What are true Gentile believers to be currently doing during this time? One thing is, they are to be proclaiming a message from the Lord about the people of Israel.
Jer 31:10 - Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.
This is a truth that should be proclaimed by Gentile believers. The will of God concerning the Jewish nation should be made known far and wide by true believers of all nations. Instead, in many circles, not only is this truth not being proclaimed, it isn’t even believed.
Within the timeframe of the times of the Gentiles, we are presently in a period that is spoken of in the Word of God known as “the fullness of the Gentiles.”
Rom. 11:25 - For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery so that you will not be wise in your own estimation that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
The word “fullness” refers to the number of Gentiles who will be saved during the church age. During this time, God is primarily calling individuals out from among the Gentile nations, while at the same time there is still a remnant of Jewish people who will be saved. But, the major emphasis is on the Gentiles because of Israel’s rejection of Jesus the Messiah.
Acts 13:44-48 - The next Sabbath nearly the whole city (Pisidian Antioch, vs.14) assembled to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, that You may bring salvation to the end of the earth. When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 14:26-27 - From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
Rom. 11:11-14 - I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
The fulness of the Gentiles refers to Gentile blessing and opportunity in this age, which came about as a result of the failure and unbelief of Israel. This unique opportunity given to the Gentiles began at Pentecost (Acts 2) and will continue until the rapture. At the rapture, the fulness of the Gentiles is completed and the spiritual blindness of Israel is removed. Paul Benware
The Gentiles in the Future
What do the Scriptures have to say about salvation for the Gentile nations in the future? What’s going to take place after the fulness of the Gentiles? Will there still be an opportunity for the Gentiles in the tribulation to be saved?
Even after the fullness of the Gentiles has come to an official end at the rapture of the church, there will still be multitudes of Gentiles saved from every kindred and every tribe.
Rev. 7:9-10 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.
Rev. 7:13-14 - Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from? I said to him, My lord, you know. And he said to me, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
As we can see from our studies, God is very interested in the salvation of people. It doesn’t matter what period we look at, Old Testament times, the present, or the future. I believe this should be an interest of ours as well.