Like streams full of divine rain, the prophecies of the Bible concerning the Jews, the Gentiles and Jesus' return flow into one mighty river of prophecy in the 20th century and into our 21th century. These truths are revealed in Acts 28:11-31.
While studying the book of Acts, I came upon a precious prophecy I had never seen before nor heard applied in any teachings of which I was aware. I was excited as the Spirit began to reveal to me this golden treasure connected to our day and Jesus' return.
Acts begins in Jerusalem with a promise of power from Jesus and a spiritual explosion on Pentecost that will carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. The book of Acts ends abruptly in chapter 28 as Paul comes to Rome. This speaks volumes of God's plan to reach the world with the gospel.
Jerusalem is the sacred city of God where Jesus will return to rule and reign over the earth. It is the seat of His authority. Rome was the capital of the ancient world, ruled by Caesar, who was considered a son of god. What a contrast with Jesus as the true Son of God.
With the gospel's arrival in Rome, God is declaring, "My Son is the true King, not Caesar." God's word is planted in the center of Gentile dominion to plant the seeds of life against the reign of Satan's death. Christ's kingdom will conquer the Empire of Rome and the empires of the world.
The prophetic word in Acts 28 is clear. The time of the Jews has temporarily ended. The age of the Gentiles has begun. The Jews reject Jesus in Rome, although some believe. But the gospel is now to go to the Gentile world, Paul declares in his last recorded words in Acts. Unlike the Jews, the Gentiles will have ears to hear that Jesus is the Messiah. Study Acts 28:11-31.
Think of how Acts ends in around A.D. 64 with such a prophetic statement. Acts finished before A.D. 70 when Rome destroyed Jerusalem. Historically, Rome conquers Jerusalem, but in the Spirit realm, Rome is conquered by Jesus. It will take another 250 years, but Rome will fall to Christ. The Gentiles will accept Christ's reign.
The age of the Gentiles begins at the end of Acts 28 and continues for another 1,900 years, which leads us to 20th century when all these streams of prophecy converge for the Gentiles and Jews.
In 1967, the prophetic words of Jesus in Luke 21:24 were fulfilled. The age of the Gentiles ends or begins to end when the Jews take Jerusalem and make the city their capital. Now the focus of God turns to Israel, which was reborn as a nation in 1948, which followed the stream of aliyahs, which started around 1880. By the time all of this is complete, 2,000 years will have passed in 2070.
Paul writes in Romans 11 of his love for Israel and the Jews. Their rejection of Jesus is temporary. Their blindness will be lifted when the age of the Gentiles ends.
Think of the converging prophecies taking place as God brings the Jews home from the four corners of the earth. Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948. In 1967, the age of the Gentiles started to end as Jerusalem was no longer trampled by the Gentiles. The blindness of the Jews begins to be lifted to prepare the Jews to see their deliverer come out of Zion, and all Israel will be saved.
Combine this with Revelation, as the four horsemen are released upon the earth and the prophecies of world events also converge beginning with World War I, then the Spanish Flu, then the great economic crash of 1929. These are all forerunners of world events set in motion to warn us that the return of Jesus draws close to hand. They all began to come forth in the 20th century.
The global concepts that Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 start in the 20th century: worldwide deception, lawlessness, false christs and false prophets, wars, world conflicts, famines, pestilence and earthquakes. The gospel has been preached to all the nations of the earth.
Luke's prophetic writings in Acts come to life for us as the prophecies of world evangelism come full circle. It began in Jerusalem in A.D. 33 with the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Then Pentecost takes place with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.
The gospel message begins to go from Jerusalem to Judea, to Samaria, then to the ends of the earth, symbolized in Paul going from Jerusalem to Rome. Now in the 21st century, the circle will be complete as the nations have been reached, which sets in motion the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost to happen in Jerusalem and Israel as they see Jesus as their deliverer and all Israel will be saved.
God, open our spiritual eyes to see Your hand upon world events and the coming of Jesus Christ as declared in Your perfect prophecies.
We cannot know the day or the hour, but Jesus and Paul both stated that God expected us to know the season of His return. May we be about our Father's business.
Once a professional baseball player with the Chicago Cubs Organization, Blake Lorenz was called to Asbury Seminary after a radical encounter with Jesus, where he received his master's degree. He has pastored in the Orlando area for 33 years and has been blessed with the opportunity to evangelize globally, visiting five continents and preaching the gospel to tens of thousands. Blake has also helped plant 500 churches. He has been working in Israel for the past 20 years, includes serving on the board of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast in connection with the Knesset. In 2020, blakelorenzministries.com and the Awaken podcast launched to teach and challenge others to join him on a journey of anticipating the return of Jesus. He has used the three books he's written in his seminars and conferences. He and his wife, Beverly, share three children and six grandchildren.
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