By Nathan Jones
What is the first prophetic end times war that could lead the world into the Tribulation?
I was recently interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we'll look at the second end times signs of wars found in Matthew 24:6-7.
The Psalm 83 War
Vic: As things move forward in terms of Bible prophecy, there are a few prophetic wars that are going to develop that are going to lead the world into the Tribulation. First I believe is the Psalm 83 War. Can you talk to us about that war? We'll then cover the Ezekiel 38 and 39 War.
Nathan: There are six end time wars that directly relate to the Tribulation. One of those according to Revelation 12 is when Satan tries one last time to overthrow God in Heaven. God wins obviously and casts Satan out of Heaven finally and totally. That is a war in the heavens that happens in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation. So, there are six wars that are coming to this earth that the Bible prophesies about, with two others that happen likely before the Tribulation and another at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, for a total of nine end time wars.
The first war we can read about is found in Psalm 83. We'll call it the War of Extermination. The War of Extermination is when the nations surrounding Israel, that's Syria and Jordan and Gaza and Egypt and Lebanon, will try one more time to defeat Israel. They've certainly tried numerous times since Israel became a nation in 1948, but Israel's finally going to have to deal with these hostile neighbors once and for all. Gaza's made it very clear they're not going to stop attacking Israel. Israel cannot let Hamas keep fooling around with rocket attacks. Israel will finally have to subjugate those nations directly surrounding them because the nations around them want them utterly destroyed.
Prophetically, Israel will eventually grow into a super power by the time they conquer the nations surrounding them. We read in Zachariah 12:6 that Israel will be a fire pot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples. Israel at some point becomes tired of being bullied and pushed around by those nations that surround them and they will subjugate them at some point.
Vic: God is really doing some incredible things with such a small nation!
Nathan: Israel's really only the size of New Jersey. Its population is about six million Jews. The Bible says in Zachariah 12 and 14 concerning Israel that control over Jerusalem will become the central topic of world attention. We've been talking about all these wars and rumors of wars raging across the planet, and yet the world always seems unnaturally focused on tiny Israel. Israel can't do anything without instant world condemnation. There's clearly not something right about such a disproportionate hatred of a single people group. Clearly it's a supernatural hatred.
People wonder if Israel will last. Amos 9:15 promises us that the Jewish people will not again be rooted up out of their land. They're there to stay. Even a remnant is left after the Antichrist forces many of the Jews to flee into Jordan at the midpoint of the Tribulation. So, no matter what, the Jews are in the land to stay. Nothing can totally remove them, because despite their current state of disbelief, God is protecting the nation of Israel.
God bringing the Jewish people back into their land a second time is one of the greatest events in all of history. A nation coming back from the dead after 1,900 years, just like Ezekiel 37 foretold, has never happened. This regathering is from God, proving Israel will be in the land permanently forever going forward. Again, the Antichrist will drive a number of them out during the middle of the Tribulation, but overall Israel as a nation isn't going anywhere.
Vic: That's right. God's protection was proved to the world back in 1967 during the Six Day War.
Nathan: Yes. The Israeli Defense Forces drove Jordan out of eastern Jerusalem and they took back different lands that had been promised to them by the United Nations. The UN had backtracked and gave over much of what's now called the Occupied Land like the West Bank to the nation of Jordan, formerly Trans-Jordan. Jordan was always meant to be the Palestinian State.
Did you know that those who call themselves Palestinians today who are living in Israel were invaders? When Israel was formed in 1948, the Syrian people were promised that once the surrounding nations around Israel had conquered Israel, then they could move in and just take the Jews' land. What they didn't expect was a ragtag bunch of kibbutz workers to push back their mighty armies, thanks to the Lord, and the "Palestinians" were left outside of their home borders. Their own countries wouldn't take them back. The invaders then formed refugee camps because their own nations wouldn't let them back in. Now the Islamic world uses the Palestinians as a PR tool against the Jews.
The "Palestinian Problem" won't last forever because the Psalm 83 War of Extermination will end it. As the neighbors around Israel try to destroy them one last time, Israel finally has to rise up and defeat their hostile foes.
This war could happen just before the Tribulation or it could happen during the Tribulation. We're not quite sure. There are certain wars that are definitely revealed to us in the Bible that happen during the Tribulation, but the War of Extermination could happen before the Rapture or it could happen after the Rapture. Most likely it will happen before the Tribulation begins. We don't know absolutely sure when, but it will happen, and likely not too far off as the signs of the end times warn.
In the sixth part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the end times sign of wars, we'll get into the second of the prophetic end times wars — the Gog & Magog War.