Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, or end of world prophecy won’t occur in 2012

On December 7, 2012 · 58 Comments

It appears to be a near certainty that NATO will soon get involved in the action in Syria. They will probably get directly involved within a matter of days or a couple of weeks. The United States, France, and Great Britain have aircraft carriers in place and they have thousands of special forces ready to move into Syria to secure the Syrian WMD sites.

Syria was warned about not using WMD but reportedly they have loaded chemical nerve agents into bombs and is now walking on the red line that NATO placed in the sand. NATO is now responding to the deliberate provocation by Assad. Any report of use of these agents will give NATO adequate justification to start a direct military campaign to remove the Assad regime.

I believe they will find a way to make that report happen no matter what Assad actually orders. In other words, I think the decision has already been made to place NATO forces in Syria. One reason is that NATO cannot allow these WMD to get into the hands of the rebels either. Therefore, NATO will need to put special forces on the ground to secure the WMD sites and to remove or destroy the chemical and biological agents before turning these sites over to any new Syrian government.

Assad might flee Syria at any time, but even if he remains, his forces will quickly join the resistance once the NATO air support starts. After Assad is gone, there will be the issue of setting up a temporary government until a national election can be held. Syria is a nation of many tribes that do not like each other, so continued civil war for control is possible without Assad. With NATO giving support and helping to set up elections that would be far less likely.

I think the outcome for Syria after Assad will first be free elections but once again the Muslim Brotherhood’s man will win the election and a Sunni controlled Muslim dictator would quickly take charge. I think Egypt is the model that we should expect to take place in most Sunni dominated Arab nations.

Iran is the wildcard in all this. Will they sit back and let their top ally fall, knowing that a hostile Sunni state would emerge? Iran will not attack NATO, but they likely would try to refocus the world’s attention on Israel. One way they could do that is through their Hezbollah proxies.

There reportedly have been discussions in the Assad regime about getting some chemical weapons to Hezbollah. Israel would react militarily if that happened. However, Hezbollah might not play ball with Iran in that losing game. I don’t think Hezbollah would want to do anything unilaterally that would cause Israel to take over Lebanon. So perhaps, more likely, Iran will deliberately cross Israel’s red line to try to provoke Israel to attack their country.

Nobody really knows how this will all play out with Iran being the wildcard and Israel being the trump card.

I have heard that some Bible prophecy teachers claim that the Psalm 83 war to remove Israel and the Isaiah 17 destruction of Damascus is likely to be fulfilled within this crisis. I sincerely doubt that this is possible. The Arab nations mentioned in Psalm 83 are still very divided. The Arabs are more likely to have more civil wars before they come together  in any confederacy to remove Israel from being a nation.

When this whole Arab Spring thing plays out in all the Arab nations and there is a confederacy that can put together a reasonably strong joint military action plan, then the Psalm 83 war becomes imminent. However, if you look at the military capabilities, divisions, and civil strife among the Arabs, that simply is not feasible for some years.

Besides, at that point the West must have given up on trying to force peace between Israel and the Arabs, or more likely the West will have their own internal problems that allows the Arabs to become so bold as to fight Israel. An economic collapse with civil strive in the Western nations is just one way that could happen. Anyway, we are not there yet. Some things still have to happen before the Palm 83 war becomes imminent.

I have to admit, after reading many emails and positions, that some Bible prophecy students and teachers thinking on how Damascus will be destroyed is silly and illogical. Contrary to what many think, a nuclear weapon fired from Israel or Iran or from anyone else is not going to fulfill Isaiah 17 or remove Damascus from being a city. It would take several thermonuclear hydrogen bombs to destroy the city of Damascus and even that would not even fulfill the context of the prophecy.

If you read the first 11 verses of  Isaiah chapter 17, you should see what I mean.

17:1   The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
2  The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
3  The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.
4  And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5  And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
6  Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.
7  At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
8  And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
9  In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
10  Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
11  In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

Israel is also decimated at the time that Damascus is taken away from being a city. How can you still have a great tribulation coming for the whole house of Israel when most Israeli’s were killed in this prior war?

It seems to me that the prophecy in Isaiah 17 occurs during the tribulation, unless you think that God will create more Israelites out of rocks so that He can chastise them again in some still future time of a greater Jacob’s trouble?

All this hype about Israel destroying Damascus and fulfilling this prophecy because Assad fires some nerve gas at Israel is not logical. Do we really think Israel will launch multiple thermonuclear devices over millions of people, most of which do not even support Assad, just because Israel might lose a few hundred people in a gas attack? No. this destruction of Damascus takes place during an all out war for the survival of Israel or perhaps the destruction of Damascus does not occur through the military forces of Israel at all.

This prophecy could occur during the time of the two prophets of God that will have the power to call down judgment as often as they wish on any person, city, or nation that seeks to kill them. It might also occur when Gog comes down, or the destruction of Damascus might happen when the Kings of he East invade in the time of the Antichrist. Or it could even happen at the Armageddon campaign.

One thing that seems certain, is that all this will play into the Mayan prophecy conjectures. There are still loons out there who think the end of the world will be upon us on December 21, 2012. I said a long time ago, that events around this December 21, 2012 date, might lead many in the world into believing that the elaborate conjectures based on a pagan calendar, means that the end of the world has arrived. Even some Christians buy into this or spin this Horn wash. My advice is to try to keep your wits about you and watch events that are setting up the real end time scenario that will most likely play out a couple of decades from now. Things may get deadly on the earth meanwhile, so what else is new? Even so, the end that the prophets told us about, is not yet.


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 Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.


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58 Responses to “Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, or end of world prophecy won’t occur in 2012”

  1. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    good article don, i like how you mentioned that Damascus will get destroyed later, most likley close to the tribulation period or even by the 2 witnesses, it makes alot of sense.

  2. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    i’m actually going to be in my 40′s when all this happens.. i better get raptured.

  3. Hi Don,

    Great article… I agree.. While it is inviting to think that Psalm 83 is happening before our very eyes… The countries around it just are not organized enough. It is interesting to see things unfolding. It still seems to me that the U.S. must surely be rendered out of the picture before many of these end times events unfold. Either economically, militarily, or simply through complacency, we are removed from the picture.

    Rod in Oregon

  4. SusanNo Gravatar says:

    Don,

    Thank you for your sanity in the midst of insanity. Susan

  5. Hello Don,

    Have spent many years working in Muslim countries has given me someone insight. You are right however, many of these people would more quickly turn their weapons on their fellow Muslims, than take on Israel.

    Anyway you look at the world news, everything appears to be in a state of Pre-Collapse.

    In Christ, Cheers.

  6. I like the way you take a less-sensationalist approach. You’re a voice of reason in a world gone mad. It is very interesting though to see how things are lining up. We are literally watching the end times lining up for it’s big finale. Block by block, inch by inch, we’re getting there. Oh, by the way, I’ll be in my 60s by the time the 2030s are here. :P

  7. DougNo Gravatar says:

    Don,

    Good article, and probably one of the more level-headed discussions I’ve read from various authors. The “feeling” part of me wants all this to happen NOW! The “thinking” part says it’s still maybe 20-30 years off in the future. Sometime between now and then the rapture will occur, and that can happen any time. For Israel to be living in peace and in un-walled villages, something has got to happen, and Psalm 83 makes the most sense for that to scenario to play out. One reason I think the Lord’s return is still several decades out there is because I don’t think we’ve yet reached the point of “as it was in the days of Noah”, where we have an overt Nephilim incursion. It’s beginning with the UFO phenomenon, and that continues to grow. I think that will become more and more obvious in the years ahead. Genetically altered humans are something to be looking out for. Look for folks who can’t produce valid birth certificates. ;-)(just kidding)

    Jake — I’d kill to be only in my 40s! ;-) If the Lord’s return is still 20 years out I’ll be well past my three score and ten!

  8. Ohio JulieNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the update and level-headedness you provide for Christians. We need to be praying fervently for our leaders to get us out of debt and out of the One World Order and back into liberty and justice for all and we need to prepare for the fail either way. Keeping tight with faith in Jesus, Julie

  9. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    also, by 2030′s i believe every state in the us will accept homosexuals getting married and that will make god angry, we are in early stages now. Muslim brotherhood should brainwash all the arab states by this time -2030- to attack israel in psalm 83, i mean it all makes. Don’s estimates seem very accurate.

  10. DonNo Gravatar says:

    What US in 2030?? I don’t think these United States of America will even exist in 2030. I do not know what they will call the remains of whatever is left in this part of the world.

  11. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    i forgot about that part!!!

  12. Barb CarterNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you also, Don ,for your insight. Scripture tells us of a one world leader, one world economic system, and a one world religion. The US will be a part of this system somehow as only God knows. We have made sure we are out of debt ourselves and spend each day studying God’s word and believing His promises. We are well into our 60s and still hope for the rapture in our lifetime. If not, what a privilege to follow the Lord Jesus into death and precede those who are alive in the rapture! Our daily prayer is “Come quickly, Lord Jesus”and may we be found faithful at His coming.

  13. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    I am fairly convinced I will be with the Lord before the rapture (not of my choosing [per se], just sayin’).

    Exactly: “What US in 2030?”

    I wonder: “What US in 2020?”

    A lot of these prophetic events, including Psalm 83 and certainly, by the description in the blog, ISA 17:1, very well may be / should be “post US”.

    I know this is off post, sort of, but the irony applies: I can’t believe they’re having a ‘Sandy’ concert (to benefit State Farm, I presume).

  14. BudNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks, Don. I learned more in this one article than several years of watching news channels.

    God bless.

  15. I really enjoy reading your comments, Don. The Book is the first port of call, and after that, it’s listening to people that love Christ and are open to his leading. You are a voice of reason and insight and I will pray to God to continue to protect and provide for you. Thank you.

  16. DeanNo Gravatar says:

    Palestinian Foreign Minister this week said, ‘we must take advantage of this anger against Israel.’

    Syria has loaded chemicals into its bombs, awaiting Assad’s order.

    Clashes continue to erupt in Egypt despite a proposal to end the crisis there. Violent riots erupt outside Cairo’s presidential palace with over 120 people injured. Muslim Brotherhood’s HQ in Ismailia is torched and 3 of Morsi’s advisers quit. So, in defiance, Morsi makes his first speech since the violent clashes and protests began in Cairo and the Islamist president says that he is unwilling to give up his sweeping powers.

    In these week’s parsha from the Torah Portions read in synagogues and some Messianic Fellowships, we have this from the Haftarah Portion:

    Amos 3:9 Proclaim to the strongholds in Assyria, and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt, and say, “Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and see the great tumults within her, and the oppressions in her midst.”
    10 “They do not know how to do right,” says the LORD, “those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.”
    11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “An adversary shall surround the land, and bring down your defenses from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered.”
     

  17. SherryNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting. I was one who thought we might see Isaiah 17 come to pass at any time but not by Israel’s hand. Hamas, maybe. By God’s hand, definitely. I figured Damascus would be destroyed due to its cache of chemical weapons going off like a spark in a fireworks shed. What you have said makes alot of sense so I stand corrected! God bless~

  18. Hi Don

    You have placed the destruction of Damascus clearly and unequivocally in context and subsequently all of us have been blessed.
    Events leading to, and the fulfilment of the Psalm 83 war remain on the Christian’s horizon, but Isaiah 17 has been clarified; and clarification of Scripture is always a blessing.

  19. Ohio JulieNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve just read many wonderful things on the Omegaletter web site. What a great find. Thanks for the list of places to go. I have done research on the Int’l banking houses and how they tie in to our economy and that of Israel. It’s been an interesting journey reading all the conspiracy theories but I think I have an idea of what is cooking in this country and why. I am ever grateful that God sees fit to put a damper in the plans of Lucifer and will keep the faith that Jesus is watching out over us all. In His will and His timing. Thanks being there with great info.

  20. Yes, very well done Don, once again it is a good reminder that taking in the whole context is critical. We are not just reading about a single city or a single country. As I ponder those verses this stands out. “7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.” At what point in these days can we see this happening? If we are thinking this applies globally then would this not be speaking to Christ’s 2nd coming? Between now and then I see mankind becoming more dis-respectful of their Maker as the world pushes ever so hard to make God irrelevant. So it must be when Christ returns and mankind is awakened to the reality that God is very much alive. NOT that all mankind will be happy God’s on the scene but that due to all the judgement and devestation their will be at least a reprive and a spiritual awakening. (simply put)

    I would add though that I see Isaiah 19 slowing coming into being. They are definitly divided, fighting each other more than ever but is Morsi the cruel leader? Don’t think we are there yet. As you said too much division between all the Arab nations. Hard to say what the trigger will be except that it would definilty have something to do with Israel either directly or indirectly.

    I totally agree and I am fully expecting to witness the events of Ps 83 as I still see it as a seperate prophesy and not solely a prayer. May it be a time when many just might listen again to God’s voice especially those within the “church” before the gavel really falls. The hard part is trying to get people to see that time is indeed very short.

    thanks

  21. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    im guessing the psalm 83 war will be somewhat close the tribulation period also since all the players are still divided.

  22. FountNo Gravatar says:

    I fully agree the world won’t be ending in 2012. There may be something to the Mayan prophecy but it doesn’t speak of the end of the world – it speaks of the return of a set of gods. This may well start with some small (or “private”) event this month – but we are still in the early time of the Nephilim reprisal.

    I do see the Psalm 83 event with a different perspective… starting in verse 2 thru 5: “For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ For they have conspired together with one mind; against You they make a convenant.”

    Then Psalm 83 verse 7 starts the listing of co-conspirators and then in verse 13 changes to a plea for them to be wiped out by almighty God. Where is the “hot war”? Seems to me much more like a conspiracy against Israel by countries that haven’t and probably won’t really get together to fight the mighty Israeli war machine.

    So, the Psalm 83 event looks done to me – those peoples and countries listed have all certainly conspired with one another in the hopes that Israel goes away as a country…

  23. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Fount,

    There really is no Mayan prophecy. They had knowledge of the rotation of the galaxy and knew that the galaxy completes a 360 cycle over time. That cycle is obvious if you can observe that the galaxy is rotating. The few Mayan words associated with the end of their long calender are very subjective, they certainly do not predict aliens or gods coming. It just predicts the end of that calender. What happens when we complete a cycle around the sun? A new year starts but nothing on earth changes just because you changed the year.

    What fuels all this hype are those putting contemporary conjectures on a few words from the Mayans but also throwing in every unrelated pagan conjecture they found and probably wrongly interpreted.

    What some are doing by believing there will be an alien revelation now, is mixing the Mayan long calender new year with the conjecture coming from certain authors that searched every pagan writing they can find from anywhere in the world to support their own thesis that the gods (fallen angels) will return posing as aliens and the date is set by Satan rather than God. So, they can then figure out the date by getting hidden knowledge from the Satanic? People like Tom Horn spew this stuff out but you do not get truth out of pagan lies and he has many things wrong. Certainly he has the timing wrong. If you believe his writing we would already be in the tribulation.

    There could be a great deception like this when Satan and his angels are cast out of the heavens in the midst of the last seven years, but we are not there yet. Shoehorning it into the Mayan calender now just does not fit.

    Some think Psalm 83 is just a prayer and was not meant to be a prophecy. I do think it is a prophecy but I agree that it says nothing about Israel destroying this Arab confederacy. God laughs at their covenant to wipe out Israel so something unique probably happens. They probably are deceived by God and just end up destroying each other. Arab nations are like that. I think it is still a future event since many of these tribes are wiped out in other OT prophecies about the end times, and if Israel was calling on God where has she had the relationship with YHWH in the recent past to even do that?

  24. Ohio JulieNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,
    Before you decide I’m plum crazy please understand you’ve opened up Bible prophecy to me in a way that is so personal and my prayers are changing. I had the “jiggies” before I found your site and that is why I got on the web to find answers. I know I need a good church but that is not so easy in the city and that is where I will have to stay. In the meantime, all my search and research kept my “jiggies” going until I found your site and here I feel I got grounded. That said, I learned about the tetrad moons of 2014-2015 and wondered if you had an opinion. For some reason my “jiggies” settled down a bit after reading Babylon is building up again and the bankers are in there making it happen. I feel it is a matter of time before Syria and Egypt and Jordon all cut loose from diplomatic ways and just bomb Israel, I feel it coming. Syria is the last key and it is shaping up to fit prophecy. Just wondered how you looked at it. The tetrad moons really struck home and I don’t know why.

  25. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Ohio Julie,

    The tetrad moons of 2014-15 mean nothing in Bible prophecy. When the Sun is turned dark, the moon is blood red and the sky is full of meteoroids that will be a sign. It seems to be some comet or external force coming upon the earth that is causing this not reoccurring cyclical natural events.

    Syria is not the last key either. We are probably two decades from the great tribulation events with the signs in the sun, moon, and stars. I suggest you read my Revelation Commentary (top bar) and also read some of the topical articles I have on the end times.

  26. Ohio JulieNo Gravatar says:

    I keep reading your stuff, won’t quit, thanks for the insight

  27. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    the book by bill salus “isralestine” must be wrong if this war is not going to happen. the book says israel will take alot of land in this war, but it seems wrong now.

  28. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Jake,

    Obviously the book would be wrong if what he said does not happen. I don’t see where anything I said assumes that.

  29. One definitly can’t ignore where all this will put Russia as they will definitly benefit and seek more control / alliance in the area. They may not be in Ps 83 but they have and will continue to have a finger in every pie here leading to there role in Ez 38-39. First things first though.

    Anyways I just wanted to pass on these articles which speak to the Middle East Crisis. While these guys (below)are just in it all for the money I have been impressed by their perceptin and understanding of the Middle East which far exceeds anything you get on the evening news.

    http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/putin-arab-alliance

    If you click on Archives (right side)and go by page number (not Next) you can see past articles.. I’ve pulled a few I’ve referenced before. Not promoting investing advice here I just respect their perspective on some areas. It just helps to understand the geo-political and economic environments that are driving much of this within Biblical prophecy.

    http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/vladimir-putin-new-global-shah-oil
    http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/israel-vs-hamas-who-won?active-tab=archives
    http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/islamic-revolution-saudi-arabia?active-tab=archives

    etc

  30. DonovanNo Gravatar says:

    Perry Stone said something about isaiah 17 on his site and he thinks it could happen now but I don’t take what he says seriously after you told me about him. Your conjecture on this seems more accurate. Perry said he had a dream before the election saying a red fish ate a blue fish, I guess implying that would be the outcome of the election, obviously it didn’t turn out that way lol

  31. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    this massacre of kindergarten kids just shows how evil this world has become, we really are in the end times.

  32. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Jake, not to get this off topic, but the crazy satanic system creates crazy people in many different ways and then they cannot understand why some people are losing their minds.

    Now we are going to have to once again deal with national gun control legislation but that liberal state already has more gun control then most. If a few trusted teachers were armed rather than having gun free zones on these campuses these tragic slaughters would be minimized. That is not just in schools. When Rome ruled there were trusted people that carried swords.

    We train the police to respond to these issues but with budget cutbacks and for other reasons they cannot respond in time to stop a mass murderer. Guns are not going away even if the law abiding citizens give them all up. In fact it will make it worse because there will be nobody to put an end to the shootings. The answer is arming and training trusted on-site people.

  33. jakeNo Gravatar says:

    sorry for the off topic, but i def. agree with your statement.

  34. Bob In TexasNo Gravatar says:

    I see on Debka File that Israel is considerating downsizing her military. That seems to be almost inviting the attack described in Psalm 83.

  35. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Bob,

    I don’t think Debka File has been a very reliable source and what are the details in any such consideration. Are they considering reducing their active military after a Middle East peace deal or before it, and what about the reserves which is the real military force of Israel, will they also be reduced?

  36. Martin HoranNo Gravatar says:

    I’m wondering what your recent thoughts are, Don, with Israel attacking Damascus the other day. Do you think it’s now more imminent for Damascus to become a heap of rubble?
    I watched Bill Salus discuss this issue with Erick Stakelbeck and also Pastor JD Farag’s latest take on it. Both (that is, Bill Salus and Pastor JD) seem, to my mind, to see Damascus’ collapse as almost immediate. Pastor Farag is certain that the fall of Damascus–when it happens–will show that the the Rapture is also imminent. He is also certain that the Gog-Magog attack will not happen until after the Rapture. I find his reasons quite feasible.
    What do you think?

  37. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Martin,

    How does this very large city fulfill the prophecy that it will become a heap of rubble and cease to be a city? It is not going to happen by a few bombs or even a civil war. That leaves only a couple of possibilities. 1. The use of several Hydrogen bombs. I don’t see Israel or the US killing millions of people just because of what action Assad or the Syrian resistance might take against Israel (unless Syria gets access to nukes and attempts to use them). The present forces of Syria can be handled with conventional weapons. 2. A massive earthquake. 3. direct destruction by angels like occurred to Sodom and Gomorrah.

    If Salus theory of a greatly expanded Israel is correct the destruction of Damascus probably would have to occur fairly soon. I have doubts about this theory and I also have doubts that the destruction of Damascus will occur because of military action by Israel.

    There is no reason at all to think that the Rapture is linked to Damascus, it is sheer presumption to think so.

    There have been a lot of people that were certain in the past and they all turned out to be wrong. I like the odds. Farag is also wrong.

    I do think the Gog-Magog attack is after the Rapture, that makes sense.

    I think some people are doing what many people have been doing since the First World War and that is speculating on end time timings that cannot be figured out before the Rapture. It is not war that is going to bring the end upon the world it is peace.

    What is taking place now is leading up to the next world war but that will take some time to play out and the end will not come immediately after the war ends. The next world war will bring about the conditions for the rise of the Antichrist and not vise versa. I suspect the Rapture will occur in the time of peace and persecution after the fifth seal and the Trumpet Judgments of the Lamb at the sixth seal come because of the persecution.

  38. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    Don, no doubt you’re familiar with the teaching that because the church isn’t mentioned after Rev. 4 it means the rapture has taken place and the church is in heaven. That’s what I have always been taught. But you are saying the rapture may not take place until sometime between the fifth and sixth seals. That would mean that the souls under the alter could be us. [anyway the church.] It does fit with the teaching that the tribulation doesn’t begin until the antichrist signs the seven year peace treaty with many. I might have this out of chronological order so I need to read your Rev. commentary again. However, there’s a lot to survive between the first and the sixth seals for those of us who hoped to get out of here alive. Dying isn’t a big concern but I’ll admit I’m particular about how I die. You’ve presented a new thought to contemplate on.

  39. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Caitlin,

    The Rapture could occur before the fifth seal, in fact it could happen before the first, it could happen today. The Rapture is imminent. The souls under the altar are believers that will take part in the first resurrection but the fifth seal also suggests a persecution within that time or shortly thereafter. Most would say this is referring to the saints in the great tribulation.

  40. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    The first resurrection takes place at the rapture, right? I just read an article on Fox News Opinion page titled The Mass Exodus of Christians from the Muslim World, by Raymond Ibrahim. I think he’s promoting his new book but still an informative article. He talked about the Christians being slaughtered, crucified and beheaded. It wouldn’t be a stretch then to think these are the souls under the alter who are now coming in, would it? The uncountable multitude that are killed during the tribulation are a different group?
    Thanks for your patience with all my questions.
    [If we were raptured today it would be my best birthday present.]

  41. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Caitlin,

    The Rapture is only part of the First Resurrection, it has more than one phase. First Jesus and the first-fruits, then those alive at His coming. Even those alive at His coming has two phases. One for the Rapture of the saved and one to rise up the tribulation saints that come to believe. They are all in the first Resurrection. The last Resurrection occurs to rise up all others that did not attain the First Resurrection. That will occur at the end of the millennial reign and the last rebellion.

    The satanic world system has been slaughtering Christians for their faith since Stephen. Both the fallen in the past and the fallen in the future before the Kingdom is given to Christ will be under the altar because the judgment seat of Christ had not yet taken place in Heaven at that point. Those killed in the great tribulation for belief in Jesus are probably what Jesus is referring to when he says for the martyrs at the fifth seal to “rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

    By the way, Happy Birthday.

  42. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    Phases to the first Resurrection explains the problem I was having with it. I didn’t catch that during my own readings of Revelation nor the souls under the alter being those since Stephen. I know from talking to people that there are others who don’t understand this. Now I can explain it to them. Thanks. [And for the birthday greeting]

  43. I believe that current events in Syria have nothing to do with Isaiah 17 (or Isaiah 7-8 and Amos 1). Isaiah and Amos were contemporary prophets, and both predicted that Syria and Israel would soon be destroyed by the same opponent, Assyria. II Kings 16 shows in detail that their prophecies were fulfilled, and this is validated by historical records as outlined in this article:

    http://kloposmasm.com/2013/09/08/the-bible-does-not-teach-that-damascus-syria-is-about-to-be-destroyed-2/

    One of the biggest keys pointing to the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 in Isaiah’s own time period is the phrase “in that day” in verse 4. Isaiah clearly prophesied that Damascus and Syria would fall in the same “day” that Israel would fall. And we know that Israel (the northern kingdom) fell in 722 B.C.

  44. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Adam,

    I would agree that the present current events in the news about Syria will not fulfill Isaiah 17. Quite a few scholars believe what you said, but obviously everything said could not have been literally fulfilled in the past. Damascus still exists as a city and there is much more said in Isaiah 17 then the destruction of Damascus. And where is Syria mentioned in the end time wars if she still exists as a viable nation when Gog comes down? I think some prophecies can have a partial fulfillment near the time they were written but a more complete fulfillment in the end times. Many Rabbis have the same view of their Hebrew scriptures.

  45. Don,

    Thanks for your response. My understanding is that Damascus was a mega-city, as Tiglath-Pileser III said that he captured 591 cities in Damascus. It was also a kingdom, which is why Isaiah 17:3 says that “the kingdom” would depart from Damascus, and that did happen. One historical source I quoted in the article above said, “In 732 BC, the kingdom of Damascus lost its independence and existence, its holdings carved up into Assyrian provinces…” Isaiah 17 doesn’t say that no one would ever live in Damascus again, but that it would become a heap of ruins, which also happened.

    I hold to a different view of “the end times,” as I believe that Jesus and the apostles lived at the end of the age (the Old Covenant age), which culminated with the 70 AD destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the center of the Old Covenant system. Some of my reasoning for this conclusion would include statements made by Paul, Peter, James, John, and the author of Hebrews, for example:

    “Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (I Cor. 10:11)

    “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” (Heb. 1:1-2)

    “Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin.” (Heb. 9:26)

    “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. …It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!” (James 5:1,3)

    “He …has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” (I Peter 1:20)

    “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (I Peter 4:7)

    “It is the last hour.” (I John 2:18)

  46. I agree partially with Adam and mostly with Don. I agree with Adam that the key phrase is “on that day” (which comes only 3 verses after “Damascus is no longer a city, it has become a ruined heap”). First stated in Isaiah 17:4 (then it says – the splendor of Jacob will fade…) and repeated in Isaiah 17:7 (then it says – people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel)as very critical.

    Yes, this could have had partial fulfillment on the date that Israel fell in 722 BC – the splendor of Jacob certainly did fade then (10 of the 12 tribes were killed off) but did the remaining two tribes turn to their God at that time? Nope – they were generally still in rebellion until they too were removed from their land in 586 BC. Do note that Damascus stood that whole timeframe and is still standing.

    I see Isaiah 17 as being fulfilled as to its second “on that day” phrase with the Gog invasion of Ezekiel 38 & 39. Persia is included among the allies of Gog and certainly the former Persian empire included what is modern day Damascus. God not only defeats Gog but “will send fire against Magog and those who live securely on the coasts and islands”. It seems to me that this is when Damascus will be destroyed and as Ezekiel goes on to say: “From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am Yahweh their God.”

    Maranatha!

  47. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Adam,
    This is what the KJV says.


    1 ¶ The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
    2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
    3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.
    4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
    5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
    6 ¶ Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.
    7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
    8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
    9 ¶ In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
    10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
    11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
    12 ¶ Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
    13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
    14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

    Whatever anyone thinks about Damascus ceasing from being a city, there simply is no way that what I outlined in bold print was fulfilled in 722 B.C.

    If you have a Preterist view of the end times there really is no point in you making arguments on a premillennial Website and Blog unless you just want to argue for Preterist theology and doing that here is certainly off topic. Have you read my commenting policy???????

    I am not going to explain why I think Preterism is foolish on the comment section of a blog post that is talking about what us premillenial Christians believe still has a future fulfillment. You would take a similar fulfilled position on almost all Bible prophecy – saying it all happened in the past or allegorizing Bible prophecy to the Church. That does not compute here.

    I think Dr. Norman Giesler adequately demolishes partial preterism if you care to read his arguments.

    http://www.normgeisler.com/articles/theology/Eschatology/ReviewOfHankHanegraffsBookApocalypseCode.htm

    We are not now going to get into an argument for or against premillenial theology here. The major requirement of those commenting on this Blog is that they stay on the post topic.

  48. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Fount,

    Good comment. I think the key verse pointing to Gog is “This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.” We are told in Ezekiel 38 and 39 that “to take a spoil” is the reason why Gog comes down against Israel and God fights against these nations as described in the prior verse.

  49. Adam

    “Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (I Cor. 10:11)

    These things WERE written for our instruction; just as scripture as a whole was also for our instruction. They were not for part of the Church but all of the Church and until the Groom comes for his bride these things remain for OUR instruction.

  50. PaulNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t throw stones at me for saying this, but I do not believe the alleged Psalm 83 war will take place. First off, I don’t believe it is even a war. Secondly, I do not believe this kind of prophecy is found in the book of Psalms without seeing similar prophecies from guys like Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc.

    Basically, the psalmist was just letting God know he is not happy about all of Israel’s neighbors surrounding them. He is asking for God to do something about it. I don’t see this as being prophetic.

    Anyhow, I have more, but I think I’ve said enough for now.

  51. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Paul,

    That is a valid orthodox position. Some other Christian students think it is yet future and some scholars think the Psalm 83 deceleration for the Arabs to cut off Israel from being a nation has been ongoing since 1948.

    I now think any of the positions are possible.

  52. PaulNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I hear you Don. I studied both sides arguments before I threw my allegiance to the side that says not prophetic. As a result of that belief of mine (not saying I’m right), I’m now thinking the next thing for me to possibly witness is either the 7 year covenant or the Gog/Magog war. I still am undecided regarding this: is Gog war = Armageddon. They seem similar in many ways, but I’m still not absolutely convinced. As for the Damascus ruin, I still see this in the great tribulation.

  53. FountNo Gravatar says:

    Paul

    After much study, I am of the school that says Psalm 83 has already come to pass. If you look at the nations / actors in Psalm 83 and compare them side by side with the actual nations / actors that attacked Israel when it first re-formed in 1948 you will see a complete and total match.

    So, I see Psalm 83 as prophecy until 1948 – when it was fulfilled perfectly. This outcome is just like the rest of His prophecies as yet unfulfilled – they will be fulfilled perfectly in our future.

    Maranatha!

  54. And yet those same threats are still being made by those same people – so obviously the prayer has NOT yet been answered, these enemies are not yet perished, they have not been destroyed as stubble before a flame as Obadiah suggests will happen just prior to the Kingdom.

    A related question that has been a bother to me:
    Is anything in the Old Testament, which pertains to Israel, fulfilled in this the Church age? It is clear the church was not seen by the Prophets and is an intercalation into God’s written plan for Israel and therefore prior to that plan’s fulfilment. If this is the case the prayer of Psalm 83 probably has nothing to do with the present day and will not be answered until the Church is taken home.

  55. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Brian,

    I think whatever pertains to natural Israel can run parallel with the taking out of the Bride for Jesus Christ. Others might say otherwise. However, it is obvious to me that Israel is fulfilling some prophecy. In fact, it fulfilled prophecy after Pentecost when the Temple was burned and the Jews were exiled to all the nations. The regathering of Israel in unbelief is also fairly clear in the scriptures.

  56. Yes Don, two good points which I did not remember and must accede to.

    But I do not think God has answered the prayer of Psalm 83 yet. When? is a question we can still ponder I think.

  57. Hi Don

    An interesting article in line with previous comments.

    Could this suggested low key action be THE means of answered prayer i.e. Psalm 83.
    http://carolineglick.com/israeli-sovereignty-over-judea-and-samaria-is-inevitable/

  58. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Brain,

    I don’t think Israel getting Judea and Samaria will prevent the Arabs from trying to cut off Israel from being a nation. The article sounds like a bit of wishful Jewish thinking on the part of Caroline Glick. She does not understand what Jesus and Revelation indicate will happen because the Jewish nation has rejected their Messiah.

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