Preview some behind the scenes Psalm 83 e-mail excerpts that characterize what today’s popular eschatologists are pondering in these perilous end times. Since we Baby Boomers, or should I say Baby Bloggers, are the likely generation that Daniel 12:4 declared would someday run to and fro for the e-crease of knowledge, I thought to share with you some interesting e-chatter between Dr. David Reagan, Terry James, and myself. Perhaps our e-conversations may stimulate you, as they do us, into a fervent quest of last days’ discovery.
These days, eschatology and evangelism have almost become synonymous terms, as events unfolding in the world generally, and the Middle East specifically, evidence that the return of Christ is ever so near. “Eschatos”, the Greek word for last or final, combined with “ology”, Greek for the study of, is what Dr. David Reagan of Lamb & Lion Ministries, Terry James, author of 19 Bible prophecy books, and co-founder of Rapture Ready, and I, Bill Salus, author of the new release Isralestine; The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East, are ecstatic about.
On July 25, 08 Dr. David Reagan emails me the following:
Bill: Traditionally, those with a Pre-Trib view have taken the position that the peaceful condition of Israel as described in Ezekiel prior to the Russian invasion will be the product of the peace treaty negotiated by the Antichrist. Thus, the invasion will take place at the beginning of the Tribulation, after the Antichrist has guaranteed the peace of Israel.
Your approach throws a whole new light on the situation. I don’t know of anyone who has played the Psalm 83 card before you. I think what you are proposing is the most biblical scenario, but you must deal with the traditional viewpoint and you must do so in some detail.
Listed below are seven viewpoints made for the timing of the Russian Invasion, as per “Northern Storm Rising” by Ron Rhodes.
1) Before the Rapture and the Tribulation – Tim LaHaye and Joel Rosenberg
2) After the Rapture but Before the Tribulation – Tommy Ice
3) In the First Half or the Middle of the Tribulation — Walvoord, Pentecost, Ryrie, Hoyt, and Hitchcock
4) At the End of the Tribulation (Armageddon)
5) Between the Tribulation and the Millennium (Interlude)
6) At the Beginning of the Millennium — Gaebelein
7) At the End of the Millennium — Non-Evangelicals like Gaffney
Ron Rhodes does not deal with your viewpoint because he did not know about it at the time he wrote the book (published this year).
I’d like to see you prepare a response to the traditional views, especially numbers 1, 2, and 3 above.
I promptly replied:
David: I like multiple-choice questions, especially when I have seven to choose from. I will consider your request.
Please Note: I usually copy (cc) Terry and David when I reply to either of them.
Terry chimes in on August 5, 2008 with these comments to me:
Bill, A further thought or two… My primary problem, so far, with the Psalm 83 victory over the Arab confederation taking place pre-Rapture is that it would seem to negate the imminence Jesus absolutely indicated for the Rapture event, in my view (Matt 24: 44,) for example. However, I can consider entertaining a post-Rapture scenario that would change considerably my thoughts on the length of a time frame between the Rapture and the signing of the covenant. Such an event would lengthen that time-span considerably, I should think.
My response back to Terry, in part, was this:
Terry, In Isralestine I present scriptures relative to God’s response to the Psalm 83 confederacy that illustrate the Church may not be here for the fulfillment of the event. At no point in Isralestine do I ever predict a pre-rapture fulfillment of Psalm 83. Due to imminence, it is hard to know whether it is pre or post rapture.
Lastly I conclude this article with my recent email activity with Terry James, who is preparing to post a review of my just released book Isralestine; The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East, on raptureready.com, the Internet’s largest Bible prophecy website.
Terry informs me on August 5, 2008:
Bill, I’m still reading (Isralestine), and considering, before doing the review. You are an excellent writer.
Here is my August 6, 2008 e-reply to Terry, which was copied (cc’d) to Dr. David Reagan:
Dear Terry, do the three big episodes, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38 & 39, and Armageddon campaign, happen in the Tribulation period, as some suggest? Or do Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 & 39 occur Pre-Trib as Isralestine suggests? Thirdly, does Psalm 83 occur Pre-Trib, but Ezekiel 38 & 39 and Armageddon occur in the Tribulation?
Regarding the seven year Tribulation, some argue that the Jews won’t be burning the Ezekiel 39:9 seven year fuel supply of the enemies weapon cache into the Messianic Kingdom; therefore, they deduce that it must be a pre or beginning Trib event. Some teach that the false covenant, which commences the seven year Tribulation period, brings resolve to the Palestinian (Arab) – Israeli conflict, a conclusion that Isralestine suggests Psalm 83 disputes. Many good arguments exist on both sides of the Tribulational fence for these and other considerations, however as hard as I try to configure all of this, my thoughts keep gravitating back to Ezekiel 37:10, and Psalm 83.
What is the purpose of the exceedingly great army of Ezekiel 37:10? Why do the Psalm 83 nations not appear in Ezekiel 38, and vice versa, and why is Babylon not listed in either Psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38-39? I think the clincher is what I learned from Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. He states, and I concur, that there are two end time judgments against Edom, not one, as some suggest. The first is executed by the Jews (plural) as described in Ezekiel 25:14, and Obadiah 1:18 against “the tents of Edom” (Palestinians) and the Psalm 83 nations, and the other is executed by the Jew, (singular) Jesus Christ at his coming for the faithful Jewish remnant, against the Armageddonites.
If these three major prophetic events occur collectively in the Tribulation period, then this presupposes that the Israeli Defense Forces are sidelined for three and one-half years due to a temporary peace agreement officiated by the Antichrist. Then Mid-Trib the I.D.F. rises and conquers the Psalm 83 Arab populations, who want to destroy the Jewish State, “that the name of Israel be remembered no more”. (Psalm 83:4)
Then immediately thereafter the Gog of Magog invasion occurs, which as per Ezekiel 39:1-6, God divinely stops “WITHOUT” the assistance of the I.D.F, apart from their participation in burying the contaminated dead, as declared in Ezekiel 39:11,14. Lastly then the Antichrist, along with his Armageddonites, come into the glorious land of Isralestine, and attempt Jewish genocide.
A closer look at these big three Goliath events suggest that, should they occur within the Tribulation period, they cannot occur sequentially; they have to be a combined Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38-39, and Armageddon campaign occurring simultaneously. This would mean that the Psalm 83 Arab confederacy, the Ezekiel 38-39 Russian – Iranian led coalition, and the Antichrist assemblage of all the nations of the world, are all “Armageddonites”! If this were the case, then why didn’t Asaph, the psalmist, and Ezekiel the major prophet, say so, by simply listing them in their respective prophecies, or by giving other observable indications.
No, at the Mid-Trib point the Jews are under genocidal assault by the Antichrist, and Jesus told them beforehand in Matthew 24:15-20 to head for the hills of Bozrah – Petra. He didn’t say fire up the I.D.F. and go fight the Psalm 83 confederacy. No, the remnant scurries to Edom, modern day Southern Jordan. Why? Because they can, it will likely be put under Israeli sovereignty prior as per Isaiah 11.
He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, then gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the [Psalm 83 Arab confederacy] adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they [the I.D.F.] shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west. Together they [the I.D.F.] shall plunder the people of the East; [Syria] they [the I.D.F.] shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab, and the people of Ammon [the capitol of Jordan today] shall obey [surrender Jordanian sovereignty] them [to the Jews]. (Isaiah 11:12-14, NKJV)
In the Tribulation period, there will be devastating judgments, and numerous other end time events, thus it just becomes too tight of a fit to cram all of the above into it as well. I’m for pulling out those events, from the Tribulation “catchall closet”, that continue to clutter it up. As you have hopefully discovered by now, in Isralestine I give scriptural support to these bold Pre-Trib Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39 claims.