Before we leave chapter seven we want to pause to review some foundational things we have been studying.
1...ISRAEL... God has a program for Israel,and the program of israel's redemption unfolds and is accomplished in the tribulation period. You can read about that program in Dan. 9:24, a week of years (7years) set aside to accomplish six things. Daniel 9:24 is a wonderful study, it is the consumation of all God's intentions toward Israel.
2...GENTILES... The "Times of the Gentiles" refers to God's program for the nations. The kingdoms of the gentiles are seen in the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzer's dream in Dan.2:36-45. The first four gentile kingdoms are pictured in the dream, they are Babylon- Medio/Persia- Greece and Rome, after the Roman Empire went into decline the gentile nations fell asleep for many years, absorbed in the old Roman colonial system, which disintregrated in the first half of the 20th. century.
Daniel tells us about a last days Empire, the revived Roman Empire. During the tribulation period God focuses on that final gentile nation as a representative of all the gentile nations. God deals in judgment on the gentile nations, we see that judgment in Dan.2:34-35. The Times of the Gentiles extend from Nebuchadnezzar's capture of Jerusalem in 606 B.C. until the return of Christ at the end of the tribulation period, at which time He will establish His kingdom on the earth.
3... THE CHURCH... The church, the body of Christ, was born after the Israel rejected Christ as her Messiah. God temporarily set aside his program for Israel because of this rejection. The Lord turned to the gentiles to take out of them a "people for His name"(Acts 15:14). It is revealed in Acts 15:15-16, that after God has completed His program for the church, He will return to completing His program for Israel. The church has no purpose in the tribulation, so will be removed by the rapture prior to it (Rev. 3:10 - Rev. 4:1)
4...THE APOSTATE CHURCH... Apostasy has been growing in the church since the closing days of the church of Ephesus. That apostasy has continued to grow all down through the church age and will reach it's climax when the tribulation period begins. Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea will be cast into the tribulation to become the Harlot church. The Harlot church is apostate and has no relationship to the True Church. The Lord will at that time bring judgment upon it as the representative of all of apostate christendom.
In this late hour the Lord Jesus is calling out men and women everywhere. He is calling you, have you received Him as your personal Saviour? Are you possibly a church member who lives a relatively good life but you have never been saved (a bible word). If so, you are a part of the apostate church which would enter into the tribulation should Christ come today. Salvation is through the shed blood of Christ, trusting Him for forgiveness and Salvation.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ that is in Christ Jesus: To declare, I say, at that time his righteousness: that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."