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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

The Setting for the War of Psalm 83

Art Sadlier

From Sound the Trumpet!, August 2014

We have recently watched the explosive growth of a terrorist group called “ISIS” which stands for, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The name has now been changed to “IS” which stands for Islamic State and implies a much larger Islamic Caliphate or Kingdom. “IS” is seeking to erase the borders of all Muslim States and to remove their leaders to create a Muslim Caliphate or kingdom.

This new group is headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He has transformed a few small terror cells into the most brutal and lethal terror group on earth. He is striving to unite all of the many Islamic terror groups by the use of the ultimate brutality which seems to fascinate and motivate Islamic extremists. His goal is also to bring down the more moderate Arab leaders in the process of expanding his Islamic Empire. He considers even Hamas to be to moderate.

Fighters from the self-declared jihadist group have seized a gas field in the desert region of Palmyra in the Syrian central province of Homs.

This new group is gathering momentum and is making sweeping gains in Iraq and Syria. They are attracting terrorists from other organizations; they are growing in wealth and power and are gaining grass roots support among Muslims. This group has the potential to form a Caliphate of Muslims in the countries immediately around Israel. Late reports reveal that US-trained-and-funded Iraqi forces have retreated from ISIS-held Tikrit.

Senator Lindsey Graham warned that “IS “will eventually march on Jordan and Lebanon. They’re going to take the King of Jordan down.” The unspoken implication is that Israel will be next. “IS” is now pumping Iraqi oil. It grabbed half a trillion dollars when it seized Iraq’s central bank in Mosul making it the richest terrorist organization in the world. “IS” has been called too extreme for Al-Qaida with justification. Al-Baghdadi is being crowned “the next and more radical Bin Laden.”

“IS” grand project is to destroy borders between Arab states and rule them all under one Islamic entity. His first goal is to drive America out of Iraq and to use Iraq as a base to launch attacks on surrounding countries such as Jordan. Then he desires a ring of radicalized Muslim countries surrounding Israel which will seek to bring about the destruction of Israel, this will be the war of Psalm 83.

In a widely shared video, an “IS” fighter is seen walking across what used to be the border between Iraq and Syria and vowing to "break all borders in Jordan, Lebanon, and all the borders, inshallah [God willing].” The video is called “The End of Sykes-Picot” a reference to the 1916 secret agreement between the British and the French which shaped the modern Middle Eastern.

There are some indications that Iran will support “IS” even to the extent of allowing Syria and Hezbollah to fall to them. If such were to happen it would unify those countries and people that are named in scripture as coming against Israel in the war of Psalm 83.

“ISIS” is guilty of wholesale massacres in Syria, leaving the bodies to rot for all to see. It beheaded a top rival rebel commander, leaving his head in the middle of the market. Amnesty International listed a few of their atrocities in their 18-page report “Rule of fear; ISIS abuses in detention in northern Syria.”

“They have conducted hundreds of executions, beheadings, even crucifixions in Mosul, Iraq. They destroy anything that is not Islamic, such as the Assyrian Church in Mosul. Hundreds have been slain for being “infidels.”

Once “IS” establishes its permanent presence in Iraq, as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, it will strengthen its grip on Syria. While looking down on Israel from the Golan Heights, it is likely to turn its attention to a militarily weak Lebanon, seeking to remove the Shiite Hezbollah from power, taking over its armory of a hundred thousand rockets, and taking control of that country. A general belief is starting to grow in Lebanon that the ”IS”, the precursor to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), stands behind the renewed instability in the country.

From its northern stronghold in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria it will target Jordan with the intention of deposing, or killing, the Hashemite king, as a preliminary step to taking over his country. If America, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia do not immediately move to strengthen the kingdom, King Abdullah will be exposed to mortal danger, granting “ISIS” control over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan in their march to a global Caliphate. Who is to say that radical Palestinians and Islamists in Jordan will not open the gates of that country to “ISIS” just as Syrians reached out to them?

When that scenario is achieved, Israel will be exposed to a threatening and powerful mortal enemy stretching from Rosh HaNikra on the northern Mediterranean to Mount Hermon in the northeast of Israel, sweeping through the Golan Heights and down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea and the Red Sea in the south. In the turmoil that is the Middle East, where regimes are falling and nations are toppling, who is to say that such a nightmare scenario is not imminent?

I believe that this is one of the most significant developments in Mideast scenario in recent times. We see just such a scenario outlined in Psalm 83:3-8,

“They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.”

As we have indicated, the significance of “IS” seems to be its relationship to the coming war of Psalm 83. Notice, the alliance “IS” is forming is the same alliance Psalm 83 describes.

Edom = the Palestinians

Ishmaelites = the Arabs

Ammon = Jordan

Philistines = Hamas

Tyre = the present day Hezbollah

Assur = Syria.

The war of Ezekiel 38-39 has an entirely different set of enemies that will face Israel in a war that will follow shortly after the war of Psalm 83. Those nations which Russia will lead are also named in scripture, we see the list in Ezekiel 38:5-6, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”

Russia as the leader, with Persia = Iran; Ethiopia; Libya; Gomer and Togarmah = Turkey

The Scripture foretells three future wars for Israel. There is the war (battle) of Armageddon at the close of the tribulation period. There is the war of Ezekiel 38-39 which takes place very early in the tribulation period. But first, there is the war described in Psalm 83, Ezekiel 35-36 and Isaiah 17, we will refer to it as the war of Psalm 83.

The war of Psalm 83 takes place prior to the tribulation period. It is described in scripture as taking place at a time when Israel is under assault by her close neighbours and those within her borders. The events of the present hour fit that scenario as no other time in history.

It is possible that the church saints will be present to witness this war. The only thing we know about the timing of the rapture is that it will take place prior to the beginning of the tribulation period, though it could precede that event.

I believe we are standing on the threshold of the war of Psalm 83. The present scenario in the Mideast is the situation we find described in scripture just prior to the war of Psalm 83.

“Because thou hast said, these two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there” (Ezekiel 35:10). We have here described the exact scenario in Israel today. The Palestinians are claiming the Land of Israel as their own. This is the first time in history this has happened. The stage is now being set for the war of Psalm 83 to take place.

We have previously dealt with the coming war of Psalm 83 but this is the first time we have seen how these nations and groups will be brought together by a group such as ISIS. If we see dimly the outline in scripture of end time events unfolding, just wait and in God’s time it will become clear.

We remind you that the movement of prophetic events seems to rises and falls like the incoming tide. Recent events have highlighted this fact and we are conscious that the scenario of the war of Psalm 83 could very quickly come about. We have watched many end time scenarios slowly unfold, and I believe that the hour will come when the dam will break and the church will be caught up and awful Day of the Lord will suddenly break upon a blind and unsuspecting world.

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9)