Author: Ron Graham
Summary of the Times of Israel (Times 9-12). You can click or press a heading to take you to the appropriate chapter in the series.
The prophets fell silent, and four hundred years passed without the Messiah appearing. In that time, Jerusalem and its temple were again destroyed, when the Greek empire, especially under Alexander the Great, dominated the world. Later the Roman empire took over the world. For all their iron rule, the Romans did allow the temple to be rebuilt once more. It was being finished when the Messiah came.
The Son of God came into the world about 2000 years after God called Abraham. When Jesus grew to manhood, his ministry was heralded by the prophet John, who preached repentance, and baptism for remission of sins. Jesus also went about preaching the gospel, and healing the sick. He was rejected by the religious leaders, however, and eventually was crucified as a common criminal although he had done no wrong. His death was a sacrifice for all sin for all time.
Jesus arose from the dead, and, after 40 days in which he appeared many times to his disciples, he ascended into heaven. His apostles carried on the preaching, and Christ's kingdom was established across the world with churches formed in many towns and cities. God gave amazing miraculous powers to many Christians. The apostle Paul and others wrote the scriptures we call the New Testament. About the middle of this period, in AD70, the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and its temple, as Jesus himself had foretold.
By the time that the New Testament scriptures were complete, and the miracles had ceased, the gospel had become known across the world in every nation. God's kingdom, Israel, was no longer a worldly kingdom, but rather a spiritual kingdom. This kingdom of heaven, the new Israel, was spread throughout the world. It was a kingdom to which people of every nation belonged whether Jew or Gentile.
The king of this wonderful kingdom is Jesus Christ, who reigns from heaven. The gospel of this kingdom includes the belief that Jesus Christ is coming again one day, at the end of the world to gather up his spiritual Israel, from among the living and the dead, to take its every citizen into heaven forever. And so it is true to say that the story of Israel has no end.