By Nathan Jones
In December 2009 I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine, host of the radio program "Prophecy Update," and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing the Rapture, Middle East politics and my "left behind" video "Jesus Came. What's Next?"
Bill has been kind enough to allow The Christ in Prophecy Journal to reproduce the "Caught Up in the Pre-Trib Rapture" interview in transcript form, edited into an article series. To listen to the original radio program in mp3 format, I invite you to visit Prophecy Depot or KWBB.
In this segment, Bill and I will be discussing why there's a better chance of a Psalm 83-type war happening before the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog Battle between Iran and Israel.
Case for Psalm 83 Happening Next
Bill Salus: A lot of people have sort of an "Ezekiel 38-39 fervor" going on right now, and rightfully so.
Nathan Jones: Like you've been saying in Isralestine, though, the nations that comprise Ezekiel 38-39 do not border Israel. If we look at the modern names of the nations listed in Ezekiel 38-39, we easily see this absence. The players are Rosh, which is Russia, the ancient Scythian people. Turkey is listed, as well as Armenia. Turkey just signed a pact with Armenia recently. Lybia is on the list, as well as the Sudan and all these lesser nation. Persia is now called Iran.
All of the Ezekiel 38-39 nations form an outer ring around Israel. One day they will plan on getting together to attack Israel, prompted by God Himself. Ezekiel 38-39 says God will put hooks in the leader of this coalition — a leader who will be designated "Gog" — and drag them down to their destruction.
But, we look around the nations surrounding Israel like Egypt, Lebanon and Syria and Jordan, and we've got to wonder why they are sitting the Gog-Magog invasion out? Hezbollah has 40,000 rockets now pointed south from Lebanon at Israel. So, these are definitely countries that hate Israel with a passion and who everyday are yelling they want to destroy Israel, and yet they are sitting out the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion.
So, yes, you are right. I think we definitely have going on a very great expectation in seeing Ezekiel 38-39 happen soon, but I really believe you came across something with your Psalm 83 theory, because those nations will certainly not want to sit out the destruction of Israel.
Bill Salus: And those surrounding nations are coincidentally all listed in Psalm 83. We are talking about the nations of Lebanon where Hezbollah is, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinians of course, Hamas in the old Philistine area of Gaza, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Those nations are the inner ring who closely border the nation of Israel today.
I agree that it is certainly worth exploring and thinking about why they aren't listed in the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog invasion. Is it because Israel deals with them prior in the Psalm 83 episode. Of course, that is the central theme of Israelistine.
Speculation on Explosive Events
Bill Salus: Dare we talk about how close some explosive events in the Middle East could be? Unlike my mentor Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum who likes to have a "wait and see attitude" and not speculate, occasionally I go out on the fringe and speculate just a little bit. So, I am going to do that a little bit.
What I am trying to do here is to give people encouragement. In other words, we need to be courageous if the events we are talking about happen while we are still around to talk about them. These wars will have an adverse effect on all of humanity because the Middle East is the primary oil wealthy region of the world.
Nathan Jones: Too true. Iran has already threatened to close down the Strait of Hormuz where 40 percent of our oil travels through. So, it's not like this is something far out in the Middle East that no one in the West has to worry about. A big Middle Eastern war will affect the entire world.
Going on to the Gog-Magog Battle of Ezekiel 38-39, there will be some tremendous fallout from that. The world finally acknowledges God. There won't be an atheist left after Ezekiel 38-39! God is going to destroy those invading armies miraculously. We are talking about hail and fire and the armies turning on each other. Along with the supernatural destruction of the invading armies in the "mountains of Israel, Ezekiel 39:6 says there will also be fire falling on the invading nations' homelands, those nations that feel they are in safety. Whatever Ezekiel 38-39 results in, it results will also be felt worldwide.
I don't believe Christians will witness the battle of Ezekiel 38-39. It is more related to the Tribulation because the nations of the Earth end up acknowledging God. That revelation is a very Tribulation type of event.
But, I think we could be here to witness a Psalm 83 War. Israel right now really has no friends. They are surrounded by hostile enemies. We have Iran which nobody is doing anything serious about, and certainly the United States isn't. The European Union is trying to divide up Jerusalem. Israel has to do something now about the Iranian nuclear threat. One of Israel's generals came out recently and said that the next war Israel has to face will be an all-country war because the enemy missiles now can finally hit any part of Israel. Fortunately, the Israeli Defense Forces are very smart and they know how to fight. I think they will have to do something about their surrounding neighbors. Maybe a Psalm 83 war will be enough to push Iran and these other outer ring nations to back up a little while and catch their breath before they make an Ezekiel 38-39 coalition and attack.
Bill Salus: Right. The Walls Street Journal came out I think it was in October or November of '09 and reported that should Israel plan a strike on Iran, Iran will follow through with their threat to shut down the Strait of Hormuz causing the price of oil to go up to possibly $300 a barrel. Presently oil is closing in around $70-$80 a barrel.
War with Iran will have a dramatic effect.