Amy VanGerpen (28 Nov 2011)
"RE: Daniel Matson - The 70 Weeks – What starts the 70th?"

Excerpt from Daniel's Matson's letter:

This invasion into Israel after the Rapture is one of opportunity. As is easily demonstrated, the Islamic world has unsuccessfully tried but continues to plot the destruction of Israel. The amount of weaponry now stockpiled is staggering. All is left is for Iran to get “the bomb”. In Ezekiel’s War, the key to the timing is that this war comes after Israel has become a nation again and is dwelling confidently in the Land (Ezekiel 38:14). This is all true today (some say the word for “confidently’ means “peace”, but at what level of peace is enough? Until the surrounding Islamic armies are destroyed, it will remain the status quo.) We also know from Ezekiel that the ending of this war shows that God is once again working with Israel (Ezekiel 39:22) . In Micah 7, an invasion from the north is described as coming after the summer harvest and after the righteous have departed the land (Rapture). Micah then continues that now is Israel’s time of perplexity. Likewise, in Psalm 83, the invaders are said to have plotted against Israel and the “hidden ones”. Based on Psalm 27:5, Isaiah 26:19-21, Zephaniah 2:3, and John 14:1-3, “the hidden ones” are those who are protected by what is now known as the Rapture of the Church.

Therefore, Psalm 83 and the Ezekiel War are at the same time due to the fact that they occur at this transitional time from the Church after it has departed and back to Israel being proved as God’s people and land. They are thus the same war even though the list of invaders in each passage is different. Psalm 83 describes those people close to Israel where Ezekiel mentions those at a distance (and Ezekiel even says his list is partial. Ezekiel 38:9).

Now there are those who see two separate wars, such as a Psalm 83 war prior to the war found in Ezekiel. However, as we have seen, the Psalm 83 war occurs after the removal of the “hidden ones” or known as the Rapture. Ezekiel’s War is also at the time Israel is renewed. The problem with creating separate wars here is that Ezekiel speaks that the war was foretold by other prophets (Ezekiel 38:17), and therefore, similar pieces found in the Old Testament must go together, otherwise Ezekiel is left in contradiction.  The passages that do fit, concern a war to rid the Middle East of Israel after they have been gathered in unbelief and just before God reveals himself (Ezekiel 38:16) through his deliverance of Israel, which is at the start of the 70th Week. We know that God saving Israel in Ezekiel is the first momentous occasion of God delivering Israel after their return to the land, but for Psalm 83 to be separate and prior to this war would mean that another deliverance would have to occur which would violate the significance of Ezekiel’s War. It must then be one war that they all lie in wait for the right moment to finish the job once the departure of the Church and friend of Israel has occurred.

Daniel, there are many differences between the Psalm 83 War and the Ezekiel 38 War, the main one being that Israel defeats her enemies with massive firepower in the Psalm 83 War, while God personally strikes the Gog and Magog armies Himself.  With regard to "other prophets", the Ezekiel 38 War is a parallel to Joel 2.  It is also very possible that there were other prophets that spoke the same prophetic Word before Ezekiel, but it was not written down as Scripture.  In fact, we see all over the Old Testament that there were hundreds of true prophets, but only a select few wrote Scripture.  In other words, I see no contradiction to Ezekiel 38:17 with there being other prophets who spoke the same Word. 

I do not believe that Israel has reached the confident feeling of "peace and safety" as required before the Ezekiel War.  The Psalm 83 war, however, would nicely fulfill that requirement.  In fact, the following passage from Ezekiel, which I believe is describing the Psalm 83 War, uses the same Hebrew word for "dwelling securely" as in Ezkiel 38:

Ezekiel 28:25-26 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God."'"

I believe that the Psalm 83 will take place right after the rapture, with the Abrahamic land covenant confirmed is the aftermath, followed in short order by the Ezekiel War.  I go into great detail of why in the following study and studies linked within it here:

Amy Van Gerpen