Now let’s come back and continue our study about this mystery given to Paul in Romans 11:25. Nothing in Scripture foretold that there would be a long 1900 + period of time that Israel would be spiritually blinded as we have seen them be. But now let’s see when the Scripture says that will be. Looking at the last part of verse 25 again we find:

Romans 11:25b

“…that blindness in part (not forever) is happened to Israel, until…”

Now those of you who have heard me teach for a long time know that “until” is a time word. I shocked one of my classes a couple of weeks ago. They all know that I’ve always taught that there is no way we can know the day, month or year that The Lord is coming for the Church. It’s an eminent return, but we never set dates. Then I just shocked that class when I said, you’re all wondering when the Church is going to be raptured. Well I’m going to tell you exactly when it will be raptured, and some thought that I had gone out into left field. When is the Church going to be raptured? When the last person has been saved and completes the “Body.” Now I don’t know what day, month, and year that will be, but that is the “until.” Israel is going to remain blinded “until.” The rest of the verse reads:

Romans 11:25b

“…that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”

Now what’s the fulness of the Gentiles? The Body of Christ.

(3d) When does the Bible indicate that the tribulation will begin ?


Consider the timeline in relation to II Peter 3:8:

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Consider it is also in conjunction with Genesis Chapter 1 in which the creation of the world, the universe, and all that is in them, including mankind is described as being completed in six days.

Notice that the first six days of creation were for man’s benefit (Isaiah 45:18 says that the earth was formed to be inhabited), but the seventh day was for God – a day of rest. So, consider the following hypothesis: If 1,000 years is to God as a day, according to the timeline, we can see that man has just about used up his “six days” or 6,000 years (if our calendars are at all accurate). Are we about to enter into God’s day – the “seventh day” or the final 1,000 years?

We are seeing the signs of the times in the wars, earthquakes, famines, and pestilences we hear about on the news daily. Terms being used today such as “global economy,” “global politics,” and “new age” are all indicative of the fact that we are very close to the end of our age. The stage is being set for Daniel’s 70th week (see Daniel 9).


John 9:16

“Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, `How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.'”

Move on to Chapter 11. We’ve come through the blind man which was healed of blindness which he had since birth; sin is mentioned as well as with the impotent man; they were next to the pool which indicated a need for cleansing. Now to Lazarus and he’s dead.

John 11:17

“Then when Jesus came, he found that he (Lazarus) had lain in the grave four days already.”

What does I Peter say in regard to a day in God’s mind? A thousand years is but a day, and a day is but a thousand years. So, picking up the analogy that we are dealing with the Nation of Israel just like the blind man who had been blind since birth, how long has the Nation of Israel literally been spiritually dead? 4000 years. That takes you back to Abraham at 2000 BC So, I think the four days of Lazarus’ death is an indication that Israel, nationally, is spending 4000 years spiritually dead. But what will happen at the end of the 4000 years? She will be brought back to life. I realize this is a little bit backwards, but come back to verse 6; hopefully you are getting the picture. But here in verse 6, word came to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, and they knew that if Jesus would come that He could heal him.

John 11:6

“When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he (purposely) abode two days still in the same place where he was.” And then what will He do? He will go to where Lazarus is and raise him from the dead. Look at the Book of Hosea for a moment:

Hosea 6:1,2

“COME, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.” The pronouns here are the Nation of Israel.

“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”

What are the two days? Well the two days since the Cross is how long? 2000 years. What’s going to be the third thousand years? The Kingdom. See how beautifully this all fits. Now, back to Lazarus for a moment. He calls Lazarus forth. Does Lazarus contribute anything? Nothing. Remember he came out of the tomb. And that is the picture of Israel. One day they are going to be called back to life, nationally, and we will get to it in our next lesson.

(4d) Will the rapture occur before the tribulation ?


Acts 15:7

“And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, `Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, (that is from among the Jewish believers) that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.'”

Now after Peter goes through all his explanation, you come down to verse 12:

Acts 15:12-14

“Then all the multitude (that is of these Jewish believers there at Jerusalem) kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, (they finally settled down and listened to some common sense approach to all of this) James (who was moderating the meeting) answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon (or Peter) hath declared how God at the first (that would be at the house of Cornelius) did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them (the Gentiles) a people for his name.”

Now what is that? The Church, which is his Body. So for the last 1900+ years now the Church is being formed mainly by Gentiles who are being called out from among what they are, pagans or whatever, and becoming members of the body of Christ. Now as we’ve already seen then, as soon as that began, the Jews got envious and began to oppose it everywhere that Paul went. And God put a blindness upon the Nation. Remember, I’m always teaching and always reminding people, God deals with the Jew on two levels: National and personal. Now when he blinds them nationally, that does not take away the personal opportunity for Salvation. So don’t ever think that God’s being unfair. A Jew still has every opportunity for Salvation that we do, but it’s on a personal basis and not on a national. So God is now calling out Gentiles as a people for His name, which is what we refer to now from Paul’s epistles, as the Church which is His Body, the Body of Christ.

Now I’d like to use this analogy. I had just read an article, written by a physiologist, or he might have been an embryologist. He dealt with the fetus in the womb. And of course I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t know, but I think it’s such a beautiful analogy. At the beginning of pregnancy, that mother’s body immediately begins to put all kinds of different cells into exactly the right place. And by the time that 9-month period is over, that little fetus has got all of his little fingers, fingernails, the eyes and everything now complete. And isn’t it amazing, as this author pointed out, that the body rarely makes a mistake by making one finger much longer than it should be or making toes longer. But everything stops its cell-making process at exactly the right time. And when it’s all completed and that little baby is complete and the cell-making process stops, then what? Delivery!

Now the Church is the same way. God has been adding individual believers from all around the world; Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Burmans, French, British, Americans, Canadians, whatever. Believers are coming into the Body one at a time. But isn’t it amazing, just like the fetus in the mother’s womb, one day the Body of Christ is finally going to have the last person in place. We don’t know where it will be, but one day the last person is going to be put into the Body of Christ – It’s complete. Now what’s God going to do? He’s going to deliver it from it’s confines here on earth and we’re going to Raptured out, as we saw in our last program, and that then becomes the “until” of Romans 11:25. Because you see, as soon as God has completed His work with the Gentile Body of Christ, where is He going to turn to? The Jew! Now of course, the Jew is going to have to go through those seven years of Tribulation before he enjoys all the blessings of Christ’s return.

Romans 11:25

“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”

But nevertheless, we know from II Thessalonians Chapter 2, that as soon as the Church is gone, the Anti-christ is going to make his appearance and the world is going to go into that seven years, which is predominately the time that God starts dealing with Israel. And so that’s when their blindness is going to fall away. As soon as the Church is gone and the Tribulation begins. Now at the same time, since we have the times or fulness of the Gentiles here in Romans 11, go back with me to Luke 21 and we have the other side of the coin, so far as Gentiles are concerned. And this of course is the unbelieving element. Now the fulness of the Gentiles here in Romans are the Church-Age believers, but Luke 21 speaks of another group of Gentiles who will be the unbelievers. The unsaved world of Gentiledom. Let’s look at verse 23 and Jesus is speaking.

Luke 21:23

“But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.”

Now he is speaking in Palestine, he’s speaking to Jews, and so this is where all of this is going to take place, isn’t it? But he’s not talking about the end-time, He’s talking about 70 AD here. He’s talking about Titus’ great invasion and destruction of the temple. We pick that up now in verse 24.

Luke 21:24

“And they (the Jews of Jerusalem) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: (now there’s the clue that this is 70 AD and not the last of the Tribulation, because at the end of the Tribulation the Jews are not going to be led captive into all the nations. They’re going to just survive until their Messiah appears. But here they were and we know they were. They were emptied out of the land and they were dispersed into every nation on the face of the earth.) and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, (what’s the next word?) until (there’s your time word. How long is Jerusalem going to be under the boot of the Gentile armies?) the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.”

Now what are we talking about? Beginning way back here in 606 BC, way back at Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Jerusalem, is the first time that Jerusalem falls under the complete control of a Gentile empire, Babylon. All the way up through human history. All the way to the time of the Cross and at that time it was the Romans. And even as you come on into modern history, Israel has been under the control of various Gentile nations; the Moors, the Turks, and lastly before Israel finally made her independence, was Great Britain, under mandate. Britain was in charge of the Nation of Israel. Now of course, they’ve had a semblance of sovereignty, but for the most part, Israel is under the heavy hand of the U.N. or all the other nations and so forth.

And so they have been under the control of Gentiles ever since 606 BC and they will be until Christ returns at His Second Coming. Right now, running sort of parallel to that (not totally, but at least since the onset of the Church Age, which of course would be sometime between 30 and 40 AD, when the Church, the Body of Christ, had its beginning). For the last 1900+ years the Church has been accumulating, they’ve been brought into the Body, and it will be filled and Christ will take it out at what we call the Rapture. The Rapture will take place 7 years before the Second Coming. Here’s what I want all of you to see, and even those out in television, that the Rapture will take place just before the Tribulation. All the way back here, we’ve had the out-calling of the Gentiles into the Body of Christ, which is the Church. It will end with the Rapture. These two processes, the times of the Gentiles, during which Jerusalem is under Gentile control, is going to end at the Second Coming. The fulness of the Gentiles will end at the Rapture.


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