The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
Jesus said: "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). Are the "times of the Gentiles" now completed since the Jews have regained control over Jerusalem? — K. J. W., Hillsboro, Ore.
The prophesied "times of the Gentiles" are not yet completed. Let's understand why. JERUSALEM is at the crossroads of the world! Many nations have fought for its control and trodden it underfoot. Canaanites, Amorites, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Syrians, Romans, Crusaders, Turks, the British, and of course, the Jews have all fought there. When Christ foretold Jerusalem's future, it was populated mainly by JEWS. Only 39 years after that time, the Romans invaded the city, slaughtered many thousands of its inhabitants or sold them into slavery, burned the temple, and leveled most of the city to the ground. About 135 A.D. the Jews of Palestine again revolted against the Romans. This time the Romans barred them from Jerusalem (which was then called Aelia Capitolina). The city became predominantly GENTILE populated and has remained so every century since! When the Jews in Palestine became a nation in 1948, they did NOT occupy the old city of Jerusalem. Instead, they occupied only the NEW city of Jerusalem — a city recently founded, in 1860, on an entirely different site next to the original site of ancient Jerusalem. OLD Jerusalem on the original site was, and still is today, populated by GENTILES — not Jews or any of the tribes of Israel! Even though the Jews now have political control over OLD Jerusalem, they have not driven the Arab population out of the city. They have allowed Arabs to remain on all the newly conquered territories. All the Jews have, at the moment, is an uneasy political control over the old city. The prophesied "times of the Gentiles" have not yet ended! Gentiles still tread the streets of Old Jerusalem. It is still a GENTILE city! Prophecy reveals that the Jews will eventually even lose political control over the city and themselves be taken captive by Gentile Europeans. (See our article "More War in Jerusalem?" in the July 1967 PLAIN TRUTH.) Gentile armies will again tread it underfoot! When will the "times of the Gentiles" end? Zechariah 14 clearly shows that Jesus Christ will come again and deliver Jerusalem out of the hands of the Gentiles. It is the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST that will put an end to the "times of the Gentiles." The city of Old Jerusalem will be returned to its rightful inhabitants when Jesus Christ Himself rules all nations from Jerusalem as the capital. Notice what the ancient prophet Joel says about that time: "So shall ye know that I am the Lord you, God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shalt no strangers [warring Gentile nations] pass through her any more. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the fiver of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion" (Joel 3:17-21). After Christ's second coming Jerusalem will no longer be the battleground for many nations. It will dwell in PEACE and SAFETY (Zech. 14:11). Its streets will no longer be trodden down by the heels of conquering Gentile armies, neither will it be a Gentile populated city any more. For more information about the "times of the Gentiles" write for your free copy of our article entitled "There Is A Way of Escape!"