What are the Times of the Gentiles and when do they end?
After reading Jim Bramlett's speculation on The Times of the Gentiles possibly ending in 2005 (www.fivedoves.com/letters/aug2005/jim822-1.htm) I had a nagging feeling that there was a key verse missing in his analysis, as my understanding of the Times of the Gentiles was equated with the 6000 years of man for some reason.
Times of the Gentiles Verse
The phrase "Times of the Gentiles" he's referring to is found only in one place:
Luke 21:24 (KJV) - And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
We're told that the Times of the Gentiles will not end until Jerusalem is no longer ruled by other nations. But when will this interference finally end? Perhaps when Israel receives undisputed sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is back from the Waqf's control and they even "blow the Dome of the Rock" or something like that? Well, when I checked my cross reference for that verse I found a key related verse mentioning Jerusalem being trampled or trodden:
Times of the Gentiles Tie-In Verse
Revelation 11:2 (NIV) - But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.
This verse is referring to the time of the testimony of the Two Witnesses which lasts during the Great Tribulation. So we see clearly that the Times of the Gentiles, or the nations in Hebrew, trampling Jerusalem as defined by Luke is not over until the 42 months of the Great Tribulation are finished. This, by the way, is the same point at which the 70th week of Daniel ends, as well as the six millennial days of man's "gentile" nations. After this point all the nations of the Earth will serve God and eventually ratify his Torah as Zechariah 14 tells us:
After The Times of the Gentiles: Torah-Required Pilgrimages to Jerusalem instead of Trampling of It
Zechariah 14:16-19 (HCSB)
16 Then all the survivors from the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Booths.
17 Should any of the families of the earth not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, rain will not fall on them.
18 And if the people of Egypt will not go up and enter, then rain will not fall on them; this will be the plague the Lord inflicts on the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Booths.
19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Booths.
We see that once the trodding or trampling on Jerusalem ends with the defeat of the armies at Armageddon on the Day of the Lord, nations will still be visiting Jerusalem. Only this time they will be doing so to keep the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths or Sukkot in Hebrew. The Feast of Sukkot is one of three pilgrimage feasts required by the Torah in Leviticus 23. Clearly just as Jeremiah 31 says, the Torah will be reinstated with the New Covenant at that time.
By the way, it's amazing to me how for all those years going to Church that I believed that the Torah was done away even while being aware of this very clear passage to the contrary. Well, that's paradigm blindness for you (automatic filtering out of all information contrary to your paradigm). Now I understand that only the Old Covenant was done away (because of both Israel and Judah breaking it), but the Torah, or God's "instructions," will be taught and required again when the New Covenant with Israel and Judah of Jeremiah 31:31 is made. The difference, of course, will be that this time they will have God's spirit in them all, and a glorified, perfect, righteous immortal King Yeshua of Nazareth leading the One World Government. Bring on the end of the Times of the Gentiles.
See also 6000 Years Timeline