There are three “untils” of Israel’s blessing that must be fulfilled before Jesus Christ will return as Israel’s King and Israel will be blessed. When Jesus Christ came the first time to earth, He was rejected by the nation of Israel and went to the cross of Calvary. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:11).” The King was rejected and, therefore, His Kingdom was postponed. The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) was rejected and, therefore, peace was taken from the earth because the only One who could bring peace returned to heaven. One day when Jesus returns there will be “peace on earth, good will toward men.”
Just before going to the cross, after being rejected by the leadership of Israel, Jesus pronounced a judgment upon Israel saying,
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, until you shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:37-39.
Israel must say, “Blessed is He that cometh” before Jesus Christ will return to the earth at His Second Coming. After the rapture during the tribulation period of seven years, many Jewish people will trust the Lord as their Saviour. These include the 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7:4 and many, many more that will trust Jesus Christ through their evangelistic preaching. This large remnant of Jewish believers during the tribulation will be the ones who say, “Blessed is He that cometh.”
The Old Testament teaches of the same event in Deuteronomy 30:1-3. This passage speaks of the Jewish people being dispersed throughout the world who will return to the Lord spiritually and obey His voice. The first thing these Jews will obey is God’s command for salvation, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…(Acts 16:31).” Then the passage tells of Christ’s return (the second coming) to rule over and pour out His blessing upon Israel.
“And it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon thee the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” Deuteronomy 30:1-3
The second “until” is the ending of the “times of the Gentiles.” In Luke 21:24 Jesus said, “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.” The “times of the Gentiles” began with the captivity of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar (BC 606). Since that time Jerusalem has been under Gentile lordship. The “times of the Gentiles” began with the Babylonian Empire and will continue through the reign of the Antichrist until the end of the tribulation. When this time period has been concluded, Jesus will return. Note Luke 21:27, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
According to Daniel’s prophecies, the Antichrist, heading the ten nations (Gentile nations), will break his peace treaty with Israel, and will invade Israel in the middle of the tribulation, gaining political and military control over Israel (See Daniel 11:41-45). These ten Western nations under the control of the Antichrist will dominate the city of Jerusalem for the last three and one-half years of the tribulation, or for forty-two months. Read Revelations 11:2. “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the Holy City (Jerusalem) shall they (Gentiles) tread under foot forty and two months.” This will conclude the “times of the Gentiles,” and Jesus will return from heaven. Jesus Christ will then rule over the nation of Israel from Jerusalem.
Gentile world-power must run its course “until” the “times of the Gentiles” be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).
The third “until” is found in Romans 11:25. Notice, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
The “fullness of the Gentiles” should not be confused with the “times of the Gentiles”. The “fullness of the Gentiles” is the completion of the purpose of God in this age. That purpose is the calling from among the Gentiles a people for Christ’s name. This is referred to as the “body of Christ” or the “church”. It began at the day of Pentecost and will end at the rapture.
When the last Gentile is added to the body of Christ, the rapture will occur. This point in time is called the “fullness of the Gentiles”. Somebody will be the last person (Gentile) to become saved and so complete the body of Christ. When this happens, the rapture will occur. Only the unsaved will be left behind.
The blindness that has been upon the nation of Israel will be lifted and many, many Jews will accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah and be saved. For nearly two thousand years the Jewish nation has been blinded. “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day (Romans 11:8).”
These many that will be saved after the rapture (when the blindness is lifted-Romans 11:25), will be the ones who say “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 23:39).” These are the same ones who will also endure the “great tribulation” spoken of in Matthew 24:22, which is the last three and one-half years of the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24).
All three “untils” must be fulfilled. All three will be fulfilled before Jesus Christ will return from heaven at His Second Coming. Then, Israel shall truly be “Blessed”.
“The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.” Zephaniah 3:15