Sunday, September 8, 2013

In Defense of Isralestine: The Errors of Dr. Thomas Ice in "Consistent Biblical Futurism (Part 10)"


8 September 2013: I'm taking a very brief time-out from the Global SITREP series in order to properly address what I consider to be an important issue among dispensationalists. Very recently I came across Part 10 of the "Consistent Biblical Futurism" series published by Dr. Thomas Ice of the Pre-Trib Research Center. As postulated in Part I, this multi-part series of articles by Dr. Ice was predicated upon his identifying and discussing the various but significant differences in the literal prophetic interpretation strictly among fellow dispensationalists of the historicist and futurist views, as well as Dr. Ice's personal suggestions on which of these interpretations are correct and why certain individuals within the whole of literalist dispensationalism hold to viewpoints different from his own viewpoint. Dr. Ice also made clear in his introduction that both Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 would be dealt with relative to their potential fulfillment either prior to or within the final 7 years of the 70th Week.

Consistent with Dr. Ice' request that these issues be subjected to the peer review process of public discussion and based upon what I found within his "Consistent Biblical Futurism (Part 10)" I find it necessary to respond with my own views on what Dr. Ice has written. 

Firstly, whether a particular interpretation can be labeled as "historicist' or "futurist" is very subjective in my view because ALL unfulfilled Bible prophecy is clearly in the future from the here and now, irregardless of that fulfillment is prior to the 70th Week, during it and afterwards during the Millennium of Christ's rule on Earth. 

Secondly, I must point out that Dr. Ice makes it abundantly clear that he regards the views of others as "speculation" instead of their being a specific prophetic interpretation worthy of truly brotherly discussion. It is this apparently ego-driven and unwarranted adoption of an interpretive superiority over the views of his brothers-in-Christ which constitutes an appalling error on the part of Dr. Ice right from the get-go.

To the case-in-point, the essence of Part 10 is the 2008 book Isralestine by author Bill Salus, the crux of which is a study of Psalm 83. I will leave the gross distortions of what Dr. Ice has written concerning the views expressed in Isralestine by Bill Salus for others to address should they so desire. I am going to focus on two items: the manner in which Dr. Ice discusses this issue, and the fact that Dr. Ice has made what I believe is a very significant Scripture-based error in his argument against Isralestine.

The first item is the manner in which Dr. Ice treats Bill Salus' work in Isralestine has the distinct intonation of a direct personal attack upon the author in that he casts serious accusations on the manner in which Bill Salus' mind operates, thereby impugning the mental well-being of Bill Salus. Here are the specifically offensive phraseology used by Dr. Ice: "...this scenario is merely manufactured from the speculative mind of Bill Salus... his thinking on this matter... is merely a speculative belief."  This is not how one brother discusses the work of another brother. It is rude, condescending, arrogant in the extreme and unbecoming of a brother-in-Christ in my opinion.

The Scripture-based error made by Dr. Ice is with respect to his identification of the Philistines per Psalm 83:7. Dr. Ice writes: (emphasis is mine) "The first problem with this view is that "Early Palestine was dominated by white Caucasians from the eastern Mediterranean area."

Dr. Ice continued with: "By the time of the intertestamental period, the Philistines disappear from history. Why is this important? This is important since it is legitimate to trace a modern people group from their ancient ancestors mentioned in the Bible if that people group remains the same over the years. The fact that the Philistines have totally vanished from history, while the Palestinians, who take the name from the ancient Philistines are ethnically unrelated to them. Since there is not ethnic relationship, this disqualifies one from identifying them as the same people group today. Modern Palestinians are generally made up of Arabs from all of the surrounding counties that have immigrated to Israel over the years."


Dr. Ice got his cited "facts" wrong here, and that leads to the greater error of his conclusion of who exactly the Philistines were and are to this day.


In Genesis 10 the Lord instructs us very clearly that the Philistines did not come from the line of Noah through Japheth (the so-called white northern peoples, a/k/a Caucasians).

Genesis 10:6 and 13-14 instructs us that the Philistines came from the line of Noah through his son Ham who begat Mizaim who begat Casluhim -- whence went forth the Philistines.
The Philistines are the same stock, the same ethnic peoples, the same relative family of people as are the rest of the Hamites, such as Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan!  White Caucasians? Absolutely not!


6 And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan.
13 And Mizraim begot Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
14 and Pathrusim, and Casluhim--whence went forth the Philistines--and Caphtorim.

Then turn to Exodus 13, verses 17-18 where God instructs:


"Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea."

The Philistines lived in that coastal strip of eastern Mediterranean land through the time of when Israel was being ruled by her Judges (the Book of Judges) and by her Kings (the Books of Kings) and they continued to live here until the Assyrian conquest. Then the Philistines gradually intermingled back into the same genetic stock of the Hamite-Mizraimite family of this same region from which they originated.

The Philistines haven't gone anywhere, they have not disappeared from history, they still live in the same place where their ancestors lived, and have intermingled even further since the Islamic conquest of the region in the 7th century AD. There are even greater details that I could cite  from the text of Moses in Genesis and of Asaph in Psalm 83, but this should serve to make the point I have made sufficiently.

Now, to be clear, I have assumed Dr. Thomas Ice actually wrote and is therefore responsible for the whole of "Consistent Biblical Futurism (Part 10)" and the errors I have cited here; that Part 10 wasn't just some cut and pasted work done by an intern within his ministry. Nevertheless, the error is a significant one in my opinion, and should preclude Dr, Ice's from publishing and widely distributing a personal attack and Scripturally-incorrect article like his "Consistent Biblical Futurism (Part 10)" has turned out to be. This is something I ordinarily would never have expected to see published on the Pre-Trib Research Center's website, and that is truly just a crying shame.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sean for taking time to point out the errors and bad behavior of Dr. Ice. I have to say, I was shocked myself to see the apparent venom with which he seem go after Bill S. I am not sure why Dr. Ice took it upon himself to launch such a vicious attack on Bill, but it really did stain his own reputation, to a degree, in my humble opinion. We all have disagreements from time to time on the meaning and timing of various eschatolical prophecies, but I think Dr. Ice went a little be on the "over-zealous" side of a disagreement.

Thanks again for taking time to address what comes down to as very poor behavior on someone who holds a PhD in theology, Dr. Ice.

Shalom,

Maranatha! Mark

Sean Osborne said...

Andre,

Brother, I think the times in which we live are passing by a lot faster than anyone of us truly realizes.

The title of the huge hit song you cited, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is from the secular 1980s band "Tears for Fears." The song was released in 1985. 28 years ago, to be precise.

That said, I understand the point you're making implicitly.

The unfortunate thing is that your view only emerges after a rather vicious personal attack, as has been posted by Dr. Ice against Bill Salus, appears and is identified for what it is.

The truly sad state of affairs in these last days is that there is a legion's worth of completely misplaced and sanctimonious division within the Bride of Christ.

Many so-called Christians claim communion with the Holy Spirit, but the sad fact of the matter is that a very, very precious few of them actually exhibit the fruit of that alleged communion with the Holy Spirit experience.

Sean Osborne said...

Mark,

Thanks and obviously I agree with your comment.

This was written for the purposes of:

1) Letting our brethren and those who published Dr. Ice's unwarranted personal attack know that we do see it for what it truly is and that we do not tolerate such venom as being a part of the witness of the Bride of Christ to the world

2) To make the proper correction based upon the facts the Lord has informed us of by His Word regarding who the specific places and peoples named in Asaph's imprecatory prophecy are; to call out Dr. Ice's egregious Scriptural error in the hope that he recognizes it and corrects it as he has said he would.

Anonymous said...

Sean:

I have read Dr. Ice's comments and find those comments without merit. He doesn't cite any scripture to back his comments at all.

As you know, Sean, You sent me the CD's and Book by Bill Salus, Psalms 83, The Missing Prophecy Revealed.

I have read and used this bood as a bible study and find all of his facts are based on scripture as evidence, not manufactured or speculative as Dr. Ice's language.

Bill Salus did not come to writing about this Prophecy alone as in the introduction a number of bible scholars have a positive reaction.

Most importantly I learned as from this book. Praise the Lord that there are still Bible believing Christians or men of God that still discipline the Word of God in the context the Holy Spirit leads us to teach as in 1 Corin 2:12-16

Sean Osborne said...

Kenny,

I looked right past this because all I saw was that it came in from "Anonymous."

Then I read the comment in full after it was posted and remembered I had sent you Bill Salus' newest book and DVD.

I will let Bill know personally about this comment you've made and I can guarantee you 100% that he will appreciate the compliments you've given to him.

hartdawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hartdawg said...

I always had respect for Thomas ice and Tim lehaye but this attack and lack of scholarship is pathetic. To overlook the psalm 83 prophecy is one thing, but to deny it in the light of overwhelming scriptural evidence and current events is just plain wrong. Can you offer another satisfactory explanation of their absence in Gog/Magog? Or please explain why the psalm 83 nations are listed as being destroyed earlier in Ezekiel.....and in Zephaniah. Please explain away the fact that you see the psalm 83 nations plotting Israel's demise on the news. The only book by bill salus I read was isrealstine. I haven't read his other books but I seen enough to know that he rightly divides the Holy Word of God. Someday I'll get a chance to read his other books.....to attack him is just unchristlike

Sean Osborne said...

Andre wrote:

hartdawg... I agree... ps 83 is what I believe to be the next prophetic event to come, unless the rapture come first. Nevertheless PS 83 cannot be bypassed.

Andre,

this is true, but I think it would be more correct to say that Psalm 83 will come to a complete and literal fulfillment instead of saying that it cannot be bypassed.

My point is simple...eschatology does not save souls..it is not another gospel.

LOL. In case you haven't noticed, Eschatology Today is a blog that is specifically dedicated to the study of Biblical eschatology.

Secondly, the study of prophecy (Biblical eschatology) does indeed save souls, particularly all of the verses in the Bible which convey or expound upon the prophetic promise that is John 3:16 (NKJV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Has this Divine and absolute promise actually come to pass yet?

Not yet, life eternal is a gift that is still future. By faith we accept and believe in the promise of life eternal in Christ, as is also declared by the prophecy of John 14:2.

Great Grany 5 said...

Sean,
I really get distressed when I see leaders such as Dr. Ice condemning other Christians and you are right to take him to task. A long time ago, and I mean a long Time ago, the Dake Study Bible was a favored publication and I really learned greatly from it as a brand new Believer. I was young enough to be able to see the fine print clearly. But there were things in the Dake Bible that others disputed and didn't agree on. However, they talked to each other in a Brotherly manner and everyone benefited by it. I still enjoy Finis' work and I still try to see that little tiny print.

I am still enjoying and learning from Bill Salus' book that you so graciously sent to me. I most generally buzz right through anything I am reading but not with Bill's book. It requires real digging and absorbing, which I am doing. Learning all the time and I so thank him for the time and great insight he has provided to all of us.
Keeping Dr. Ice in my prayers too and thank you for addressing the issues squarely and fairly.

Shalom, GG5

Sean Osborne said...

GG5,

There are many things that were expressed by Finis Dake that I have have found to be absolutely correct and/or agree with during my own independent walk with the Lord. This occurred during a time in which when I had never even heard of Finis Dake much less read anything he had written. Therefore I can only conclude that Finis Dake was led by the Holy Spirit.

The way in which Finis was (and still is) treated by fellow believers is just shameful in my opinion, and that type of treatment is quite similar to the manner in which Dr. Thomas Ice and his several like-minded fellow travelers have treated brother Bill Salus since the publication of Isralestine. Until sincere Spirit-led apologies are extended to Bill Salus by these people then I will have nothing more to do with them.

As the saying goes, people who live in glass houses...

hartdawg said...

Thomas ice is at it again. On the bible prophecy blog is another article by Thomas ice. Pt 11. He says Bill salus proclaimed psalm 83 occurs before the rapture. I don't think Bill ever said that. (I personally think psalm 83 does occur before the rapture but that's a different topic) if Bill never said that then wouldn't it be kinda like lying?

Sean Osborne said...

Hartdawg,

With Part 11 Dr. Tommy Ice continues with his ad hominem attack upon Bill Salus and once again states something which is clearly a ridiculous bald-faced lie regarding what Bill Salus has written in his books. This kind of exceedingly rude coldness towards a brother-in-Christ has me thinking of Dr. Tommy Ice as more of an Iceman than a brother-in-Christ. After expressing my outrage once again, I may well be of the mind to ignore anything else that cometh from the Iceman.

What has Ice said? I'll quote him:

"Salus contends that Psalm 83 teaches an Israeli war with her surrounding neighbors before the rapture takes place that will set the stage for post-rapture events like the Gog & Magog war and the tribulation.

Say what?! Let me repeat it...

Ice says Bill Salus teaches that Psalm 83 teaches an Israeli war with her surrounding neighbors before the rapture takes place.

Number 1. Nowhere in Isralestine has Bill Salus stated anything remotely close to saying that Psalm 83 teaches about a war to occur prior to the Harpazo. The assertion of Dr. Tommy Ice here is first and foremost a patently absurd lie.

Number 2. What part of Israel's 'War of Independence' in 1948 against all of her surrounding Arab Islamic neighbors, or the Six Day War of 1967, or the Yom Kippur War on 1973 did Dr. Tommy Ice miss on the evening news back during those days???

Now I know darn well Dr. Tommy Ice was among the living at that time, particularly during the wars of 1967 and 1973.

Did these wars occur before the Harpazo? Only someone who was and remains in a coma since those times would deny it.

Therefore, Dr. Tommy Ice is demonstrably wrong on two distinct items within a single sentence that has come from within his own "fertile imagination." Me thinks the Iceman suffers from a form a permanent, futuristic 'brain freeze' that is not the result of gulping down a really cold drink or lump of semi-soft Italian Ice.