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The Fullness of the Gentiles and the 5th Seal May 4, 2012

Posted by stevekerp in End Times.

As we know, Paul wrote in Romans 11 that   

hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in

after which the period of Israel’s spiritual blindness will end. Jack Kelley wrote in ” The Fullness Of The Gentiles” that

…the Greek word translated full number (fullness) was a nautical term referring to the number of sailors necessary for a commercial ship to set sail.

This links the idea of the completion of the church to a departure. It is more than simply a change in the state of affairs, wherein Gentiles no longer respond to the gospel and Jews are no longer resistant to it. Instead, there is a completion.

Perhaps this brings to mind a certain ship in history that reached its full complement and departed. F.M. Riley recently pointed out (as have many others) that the upcoming Iyyar 17 (Wed. May 9th) is the anniversary of the day Noah entered the ark (see Genesis 7:7-11). If this is a type of the rapture, it merits further study.

I believe this may connect with the 5th seal in Revelation.  I am strongly persuaded that the first four seals have already opened and that they are the spiritual forces behind the escalating unpleasantness we are seeing worldwide; a period referred to by Jesus as “the beginning of sorrows” in Matthew 24.  If the Four Horsemen are already riding, what might we expect to see as the physical manifestation of the opening of the 5th seal?

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

I’m not certain we would see any physical manifestation.  Clearly, the time of vengeance from their perspective is yet future.  However, the final thought is provoking: they are waiting for a number to be completed.  “Until the full number of the martyrs has come in.”

I would suggest, for your prayerful study, that you consider that the fullness in view is the Gentile believers. In this present age, the enemies of Christ will continue to kill Christians as long as the church is on the earth. Christian martyrdom will end with the rapture. To summarize thus far: 1) Paul tells us in Romans that a time will come when the last Gentile will be saved, at which time Israel’s spiritual blindness will end. 2) Noah illustrates in history a “nautical departure” followed by judgment. 3) The martyrs under the altar are also waiting for the completion of their number.

We’re looking at the same spiritual reality from three perspectives.  Noah’s experience is a historical perspective (“as it was in the days of Noah”), the constraint in Romans 11 is parabolic and covenantal, and the 5th seal is an event in heaven.  All three are prophetic.

Martyrdom will be completed at or possibly just before the rapture. Consider the possibility that the 5th seal will be opened on 17 Iyyar. The 8th day following is Ascension Day (May 17th), which will be the anniversary of the ascension of Christ into heaven.

If this is correct, May 17th will be the day when the 6th seal is opened. It will be a day of “sudden destruction” at which time everyone remaining on the planet will realize that the “great day of His wrath” has finally begun (Rev. 6:17). Ten days later, on Pentecost, 144,000 Jews – 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes – will be sealed.

Speculative, to be sure, but I believe consistent with current events and biblical prophecy.  We won’t have long to wait to find out how close this may be.



1. Susan S - May 7, 2012

Steve, this is a very good article. thanks.
Susan in GA, a.k.a. IsaiahTwentySix on BTR


2. Art - May 8, 2012

Interesting. No opinion on the date, but just tripped over a tidbit that may help shed a teensy bit more light on the idea of ‘fullness’.

First use of G4138 (‘fullness’) comes in 2nd Sam 8:2 in the LXX (Septuagint, a.k.a. the Apostolic Bible — the main one the disciples had access to). The translation I have reads:

“And David struck Moab and he measured them out in measuring lines, resting them upon the ground; and there were the two measured-out lines to kill and the FULLNESS of the third measured-out line he took alive. And Moab became to David for servants bearing tribute.”

Given the 2/3 vs. 1/3 construct dealing with Gentiles, there seems to be a strong connection with Zechariah 13:8, which maps the same ratio onto the Jews. 1st Chron 16:32 is the second use of G4138, and Psalm 24:1 the third use — all in a 2nd-coming context.

What to make of all that beyond staying awake and trusting totally in Jesus and his finished work on the cross, I don’t know.


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