The Gentiles - Part I
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Will you open your Bibles, please, to Paul's first Corinthian letter, chapter 10, which will be our point of departure:

I Corinthians 10

32Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

We have read this verse not because of the exhortation, though it would be well for all of us to heed it, but because this verse of Scripture emphasizes the three classes into which god has divided the human race. God does not think of Americans and Europeans. He does not think of yellow people, black people, white people, brown people. He speaks of Jews Gentiles, and the Church of God.

Two Streams of Prophecy

We want you to realize this division because we have begun a discussion of what we termed “A Decade of Prophetic Fulfillment.” We suggested to you that God has a prophetic program for these three classes of people. The streams of prophecy related to these three classes began back in the beginning of the Old Testament, which we might term the reservoir of prophecy. Two streams flowed from that reservoir of prophecy, one related to the Jews, and another related to the Gentiles. The stream of prophecy concerning the Jews began in chapter 12 of the book of Genesis. The stream of prophecy concerning the Gentiles began in chapter 10 of the book of Genesis. They flowed along side by side without any particular connection until the historic event known as the Day of Pentecost. This was the day described in chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles when the Holy Spirit came to earth and baptized into one body all believers. From that day to this, when individuals are born again they are placed into the body of Christ by the Holy spirit at the very moment they receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

Three Streams of Prophecy

From the Day of Pentecost on down to the present hour and beyond as far as we can go until the Lord Jesus Christ comes, there are three streams of prophecy instead of two. The Jewish stream of prophecy continues to flow, the Gentile stream of prophecy continues to flow, but since the Day of Pentecost there has been a new stream of prophecy flowing. That stream is related to the Church of God.

These three streams of prophecy will culminate in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the events which will occur thereafter on this earth. After that, eternity will begin. The Bible tells us very little about eternity other than that it is to begin.

The Jewish Prophecy

We have thought with you about this first stream of prophecy, the prophecy related to the Jews. You will recall that we presented the prophecy related to the Jews under a symbolism of the fig tree. There are three fig trees mentioned in the Word of God. There was first a barren fig tree. it had leaves and it looked beautiful, but there was no fruit. That represented the Jewish nation when the Lord Jesus Christ came to the earth. Because there was no fruit on the tree, the Lord Jesus Christ said the tree should be cut down. There was no point to its taking up ground.

The one who cared for the tree said, “Wait, let me till the ground about it, let me prune it, let me care for it, and then if it does not bring forth fruit, curse it.” So during the lifetime of the Lord Jesus Christ, the tree was very carefully tended, and also after the lifetime of the Lord Jesus Christ, in what is known as the Apostolic Age, the early days of the Church. The tree was very carefully tended, but it bore no fruit, and the day of judgment came in 70 A.D., approximately 40 years after the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. Titus with his Roman armies completely destroyed Jerusalem and routed the Jews, and they were scattered to the four corners of the earth, where they reained for nearly two thousand years. Thus was the fig tree cursed.

The third fig tree is described in Luke 21 and Matthew 24. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “When you see the first green leaf on this fig tree, you will know that the time of My coming is very near.” We described to you a fig tree which had two leaves on it at the beginning of this last decade. One leaf was that the children of Israel had been regathered to their own land. Another leaf was that they were recognized as a nation, taking their place among the nations of the world.

Then we shared with you one event after another which indicated additional sprouting of the fig tree, until there were seven leaves upon the tree, indicating how very close the coming of the Lord actually is. We suggested to you that if you wonder whether Jesus Christ is coming, look at the fig tree. The Lord Jesus said, “When you see it begin to sprout, then you will know that My coming is very close.” We saw it not only begin to sprout, but we saw seven leaves, most of which have budded in the last decade. Truly the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is nearer than when we believed (Romans 13:11).

The Gentile Prophecy

Now we want to examine with you the other stream of prophecy–the stream related to the Gentiles. But before we do, I am going to suggest that we bow our heads together to ask God to help us:

PRAYER

Our Father, we thank Thee for the privilege of ministering Thy Word. We acknowledge our need of Thee, and ask that Thou wilt undertake for us, so that we may be able to present these truths related to the Gentiles in such a fashion that all men will be able to see the truth. For we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

When I speak of prophecy related to the Gentiles, I speak of fulfilled prophecy related to everything and everybody that is not Jewish. We have dealt with Jewish people and Jewish events. We are now going to talk about the rest of the world, and I think that the best way for us to do it is to fix in our minds significant events as they have been reported in the newspapers and periodicals, and examine them in the light of the Word of God.

Now did you notice what I said? Examine them in the light of the Word of God. It is never wise to take any current event and try to push it into the framework of prophecy so that you may be able to say, “This is prophecy fulfilled.” Rather, you study prophecy which does not change, which is accurate, which cannot be disputed, and then you hold it as a search light upon the current event in question. If it represents a fulfillment or a partial fulfillment, or if it represents the setting of the stage for the fulfillment, then you rejoice, for you know there is another sign that the coming of the Lord is near.

Three Spheres of Consideration

We have divided the significant events which we will be considering into three spheres–the political sphere, the moral sphere, and the social sphere. What events have occurred in the last decade in the political sphere, in the moral sphere, and the social sphere which indicated to us that the coming of the Lord is very near? We will offer you first some suggestions about what you will find in the political sphere.

Did you notice what I said, please? We will offer some suggestions. We do not believe that it behooves anybody to be dogmatic in the field of prophecy, save about the Word of God. For example, I am very dogmatic about the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming, because the Bible is dogmatic about that. I am not dogmatic about the time when He is to come, because the Bible does not state any particular date for His coming. I am so firmly convinced in my own mind that the coming of the Lord is near that I look for Him to come at any time. I personally am convinced that the coming of the Lord is so near that it would not surprise me one bit if He were to come before this service is over. But I do not insist that everybody believe that, because nothing in the Bible says that He is going to come at a certain hour and a certain time. All that the Bible says is that you are able to discern the signs in the sky, and to know what kind of weather is approaching (Matthew 16:3). Then examine the signs related to the coming of the Lord; life up your heads, and know that your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).

The Commonwealth of Europe Prophesied

As we examine events in the political sphere, I am going to suggest that we look at what the Bible says will be. This we can be dogmatic about. Then we will look at the events which seem to us to coincide with those particular prophetic truths. Bible prophecy speaks of ten federated states at the end of the Age. In the light of what we find in chapter 2 of the book of Daniel, chapter 7 of the book of Daniel, chapter 13 of the book of the Revelation, and chapter 17 of the book of the Revelation, this indicates that Europe will someday be a united commonwealth of ten nations. We suggest that you read these four passages very carefully when you have the time.

In chapter 2 of the book of Daniel you will find a picture of a great image divided into four sections. It is the last section in which we are particularly interested–the feet of the image, with emphasis upon the ten toes and the material of which the ten toes are made. They are made part of clay and part of iron. There is no cohesion between the two elements, so that the nations represented by the toes are both weak and strong.

As you read further in this chapter, you will know that just before the Lord Jesus Christ comes, Europe will be divided into ten sections–individual nations still, but united with a common interest and purpose. Great Britain will still be Great Britain, France will still be France, Spain will still be Spain, Yugoslavia will still be Yugoslavia, and we could go on; but all of them will be part of the commonwealth of Europe. This is the prophecy.

In chapter 7 of the book of Daniel, this same prophecy is presented under the figure of a nondescript beast with ten horns. In chapter 13 of the book of the Revelation and again in chapter 17, it is presented under the same figure, a nondescript beast with ten horns. Each of those ten horns represents some portion of the commonwealth of Europe. This is the prophecy, and I say that will be the condition when the Lord Jesus Christ comes.

The Setting of the Stage

Has anything occurred in the last decade that would lead us to believe that God is setting the stage for the fulfillment of this prophecy? I am going to suggest to you that it has. When this last decade began, some of these things were already in existence, and they so increased in intensity during the decade that we feel sure Europe will continue in the direction in which she was headed. We can see a parallel to the prophecy in the desires of Europeans for a united Europe, and in the mental attitude of the generation that has arisen in Europe since World War II.

We see also certain movements which have been accomplished which indicate to us that the stage is being set. We call to your attention two rather well known ones. One of them is NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Another is the Common Market. What detailed proof can we present to you in relation to these facts? Perhaps you remember that Churchill, when he resigned office, pledged to devote his talents and abilities to the formation of a European community of states. He said, “Our only hope against Russia is a federation of the states of Europe under one government.” Churchill spent a great deal of effort in trying to accomplish this, and other men have taken up the torch where he laid it down.

Konrad Adenauer spent a great deal of his life working for this same goal, and although the efforts of De Gaulle were sometimes confusing because of his emotional instability, his efforts were spent in the same direction. Indications are that what is desired in the hearts of the leaders of Europe is a commonwealth of European countries. Not only is this indicative, but there has been a significant change of attitude among European nationals. Since the second World War, younger Europeans no longer want to be known as Britons or as Spaniards, etc., they want to be known as Europeans, and oftentimes if you ask their nationality they will let you know with some force that they are European first, and then they will give their national entity second. This is something which I believe is an indication of God's preparation, the setting of the stage for the ten state federation of Europe.

Nato and the Common Market

We called your attention particularly to two movements, NATO and the Common Market. I would suggest to you that the activities related to these two organizations during the last ten years are completing the setting of the stage and making it ready for the coming of the Lord. These two movements are doing more to unite Europe than anything that has ever been done before. As a matter of fact, Time Magazine said concerning the Common Market, “This is the greatest step toward the unification of Europe since the efforts of Charlemagne in 1145.” If a secular magazine, even though it may not always be accurate, recognizes the significance of this when they have no particular interest in the prophetic Word, then it seems to me it would behoove all of us to give consideration to it.

There are some interesting facts about the Common Market. It was begun as an economic venture in 1957. It seems significant to me that the treaty establishing the Common Market was signed in the city of Rome. Its purpose was an integration of economic effort and a political unification of the entire continent of Europe. Adenauer, who was very much interested in this movement, said that if all things went well and there were no disagreements, it would take from twelve to fifteen years and perhaps even longer to bring it to fruition. Those twelve years have already gone by, and there have been some definite obstacles, so that we are not surprised that it has not yet come to completion.

Britain's Admission

For quite some time Britain has been standing on the threshold of the Common Market, knocking on the door, trying to get in, and they would not admit her; but the man who kept the gate and refused to let Britain in has lost power in his own country. He was considered to be the last obstacle to the entrance of Britain into the Common Market. When Britain enters the Common Market, there will be ten significant nations within it. Now listen carefully to what I am saying. Don't go out of here and say that I said that when Britain enters the Common Market, the Lord Jesus Christ will come. I said that when Britain enters the Common Market, the tenth nation will have entered this federation of the European states, and the Bible says that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes, Europe will be in such a combination.

That the stage will continue to be set throughout this decade I think cannot be doubted, because forty different nations have appointed ambassadors to an economic commission for the unification of Europe. It is reported concerning the individuals on this commission that they are so devoted to their task that they never take a coffee break; they work from early in the morning until eight or nine o'clock at night. In addition to this economic commission, there is a 142-member European parliament which is working for political unification in Europe, and there is a 7-member Court of Justice which is drawing up laws to be used for the government of all Europe when national barriers are broken down and the nations of Europe become one.

Some Big Changes

The January, 1963, issue of Newsweek made the following statement: “Once the British and their partners join the Common Market, the new Europe will incorporate ten or more old nations with a population of 250 million, a gross national product ability nearly double that of Russia, and gold and silver stocks nearly twice as large as those of the Americans.”

An additional thing of interest to which we could call your attention is that the economic commission has suggested through the Secretary of the United Nations several solutions to the problems of the world. There is a gold crisis, you know, and one suggested solution for the gold crisis is that there be one world monetary system in which every country would use the same kind of currency. One world banker would be appointed to control all the gold and all the silver. The suggestion has also been made that there be a redistribution of the wealth of the world through the United Nations on the basis of a worldwide graduated income tax.

It may seem strange to you that we would be giving you these facts which are not particularly inspirational, these facts which you may have read already and certainly could read in your newspapers and periodicals. The reason we are doing it is that if I were to ask for a show of hands, I daresay there would be only a few who could raise their hands honestly and say, “We had all this information at our fingertips, and we have rightly related it to the prophetic Word.” I suggest to you that all of these things which we have described as events which have occurred in the last decade and as the attitudes and the actions of men in Europe, are either part of the process of fulfillment of Daniel 2 and 7 and of Revelation 13 and 17, or if not part of the process of fulfillment of these prophecies, they are certainly setting the stage whereby these prophecies can be fulfilled in very short order. The stage must be set if prophecy is to be fulfilled in the near future.

Prophecy of the King of the North

We pass on from the prophecy related to the ten federated states of Europe and call your attention to a prophecy related to the king of the north. You understand that when we use directions in the Bible, we are using them in relation to the land of Palestine and the city of Jerusalem, which is the navel of the earth. When we speak of the king of the north we are not speaking of Canada; we are thinking about the king of the north described in Daniel chapter 11, verse 40, who will come with mighty power against the city of Jerusalem to lay it waste. Additional information is given in Ezekiel, chapter 38 and 39.

You will recognize that we are talking about Russia, In the last decade, quietly and less obtrusively than in the past, the rise and spread of Communism has been phenomenal. Many folk think that Russia is not to be reckoned with; she is changed; she is not the kind of country she was. They think that the Russia of today is vastly different from the Russia in which Kruschev lived when he came to the United Nations and took off his shoe and beat on the table and screamed, “We'll bury you!” In the minds of some men, the Russia of today is not that Russia.

I would say to you that this is true only in the minds of some men. This is what Russia wants men to believe. Many folk have fallen asleep and think that we can live peacefully with Russia; we can co-exist. Russia can believe what she believes and we can believe what we believe, and we will all get along very well together. Some say Russia will have to do what we tell her to do because we are stronger than she is and she knows it.

Russia's Increase of Power

I am not going to spend time talking about the opinions of men. I am simply going to say that on the authority of the Word of God as it is given in the book of Daniel, chapter 11, verse 40, and Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, Russia will not stop. She will not slow down. She will continue to exert her baleful influence. She will do all she can to bring every country of the world under her jurisdiction. She will not succeed with all the countries of the world, but she will succeed with enough that she will be a confederation which has to be reckoned with. Even when the Antichrist is on the earth and ruling the world, Russia will make an attempt to upset the Antichrist and his leadership of the federated states of Europe and to gain control of the world. So do not think that Russia is on the way out; she is on the way up.

If you are able to read between the lines and to look behind the scenes, you recognize that the last decade has recorded a greater advance for Communism than the previous decade. This is alarming, and yet it is not a truth that should discourage, for it is but another indication that the coming of our Lord draweth nigh.

Prophecy of the King of the South

Keeping in mind that we are considering the political sphere in relation to the fulfillment of prophecy in the last decade, we suggest to you that there is another power to be reckoned with. That power is described in Daniel, chapter 11, verse 40. It is referred to in the Scripture as the king of the south. If you examine in geographic detail the territory controlled by the king of the south, you will find that it represents a coalition of nations in Africa led in all probability by Egypt.

In your lifetime and mine we have sent missionaries to heathen Africa. In your lifetime and mine, if missionaries wanted to emphasize the dire need, they would speak of darkest Africa, for it represented a world that was dark indeed. But if you have been alert to world events, you have been noticing the fermenting nationalism in Africa. This great continent is gradually forming into individual nations with their own governing bodies, doing diplomatic business with other nations in Africa, and meeting together in summit meetings to discuss how Africa may stand against the rests of the world. Fifteen years ago you would not have considered such a possibility as this, but in the last decade these movements have increased in number and in zeal so that if the Lord Jesus Christ tarries a bit longer, Africa will be a continent to be reckoned with. This is exactly what God says. When the Antichrist is reigning on the earth, a nation that will push at the Antichrist in an attempt to defeat him will be the king of the south and all of his allies.

Listen carefully to what I say. If we are as near the end as I think we are, then these nations should be taking a position where they can fulfill the prophetic Word. Keep in mind that the prophetic Word cannot be questioned; we can be dogmatic about that. And when we hold the prophetic Word as a searchlight on current events, we find a tremor running through our souls and a note of joy in our hearts, because we realize that the time of our redemption is drawing nigh. The political stage is being set.

Prophecy of the King of the East

One last thing I would offer to you in the political sphere is a reference to what the Bible calls the kings of the east. You find them described in Revelation, chapter 16, verse 12. Read it when you have the time. You will discover that in the Tribulation period which is yet to come upon the earth, the river Euphrates is going to be dried up miraculously so that the kings of the east will have a way to gather for the battle of Armageddon. The kings of the east represent the emerging influence of Asia in world affairs. Certainly you know that Asia has emerged into the vortex of world affairs in the last decade in a way that she had not before. The great country of India, for example, which was thought to be divided by the caste system to such an extent that it never could be united for any sensible purpose, is gradually emerging as a nation to be reckoned with.

Men are interested today not so much in how to deal with Europe as in how to deal with Asiatics. Courses are being offered in Universities today and grants are being provided for students who are interested in Asian studies–in the Chines language and literature, for instance–because this nation feels that Asia and the Far East will some day be a part of the world with which we will have to reckon.

The thing that thrills me is that it is not Washington that has decided this, nor Paris, nor London, but Almighty God. He wrote long before these continents were deemed important that someday they would hold the spotlight on the stage. He said, “When they do, you begin to pack your suitcase and settle all of your business, because it won't be long until you make the journey that is described in God's Word.” When God says in His Word, “I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (I Thessalonians 4:13), if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then we believe that Jesus Christ will return and bring with Him those which sleep in Jesus. For you see, we will not go before them that are asleep, but we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall be caught up in the air to meet them, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. When I view what has happened in the political sphere in the last decade, I am more convinced than ever that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Shall we bow our heads together for prayer:

Our Father, we thank Thee for the hope of the Lord's return. We thank Thee for the assurance we have that we are ready for it–the assurance that is ours because we are trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. We do pray that every person in our gathering will be conscious of his relationship with Christ so that he may utter the prayer of the Apostle John, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”* Amen.

*Revelation 22:20


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