In Search Of The Origins Of The PreWrath Doctrine:
Part 5: Endtime Battles In The Last 3-1/2 Years In PreWrath
By Ed Tarkowski

PreWrath's Three Battles Of Daniel's Week

In "The Sign" (pp. 262-264), Van Kampen lists three battles under the PreWrath doctrine:

  1. The Jerusalem Campaign

  2. The Jehoshaphat Campaign

  3. The Armageddon Campaign

The Jerusalem Campaign

This battle is correctly mentioned as:

". . . the Jerusalem Campaign that occurred when Antichrist was revealed and took the throne in the Temple, demanding the worship of the world. . . . . the Jerusalem Campaign . . . will occur at the midpoint of the seventieth week - at which time Antichrist will move his armies against Jerusalem, set up his throne in the temple, and demand the world's worship."

The Jehoshaphat Campaign

The second battle mentioned is the Jehoshaphat Campaign:

"The major event, then, the believers will see happen just before the sign of the end of the age [at the 6th seal] is given will be what the author calls the Jehoshaphat Campaign. The "Jehoshaphat Campaign" refers to the gathering of the nations in the valley of Jehoshaphat in preparation for a second military attack against Jerusalem. . . . As prophesied in the book of Joel, God will once again draw the nations surrounding Israel into the valley of Jehoshaphat, this time just before the day of the Lord actually begins."

Van Kampen then cites Joel 3:1,2 to back up this statement:

Joel 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land (cf. Zech. 14:2).

He then jumps to verses 9 and 12 through 16:

Joel 3:9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: . . .
Joel 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
Joel 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Joel 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

What is important to acknowledge at this point, which Van Kampen didn't, was the result of this gathering of the nations:

Joel 3:17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
Joel 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
Joel 3:19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
Joel 3:20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
Joel 3:21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

What is the result of this battle? Let's list them:

  1. The Lord dwells in Zion
  2. No stranger shall pass through Jerusalem anymore
  3. Prosperity and prosperity within Jerusalem from the House of the Lord
  4. Judah will be avenged with the destruction of nations
  5. Judah and Jerusalem dwells in security forever

It is rather obvious that the result of this battle is the Lord reigning from Jerusalem. Why mention all of this? Because these familiar verses, taken as the battle of Armageddon by the Church for centuries, is not applied in that way. They are used to describe a battle 6 months-plus before the end of Daniel's 70th week when, in PreWrath, the Great Tribulation ends. Yet, Van Kampen, in commenting in another place on this battle, says it is merely "a precursor to the day of the Lord and the return of Christ." It is inconceivable to me that "The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake" (Joel 3:16), and then He will have to return again for another battle at Armageddon at the minimum 6 months later. When the Lord comes, there won't be any need for such another appearance or roaring out of Zion. Furthermore, Joel 3:13 is a classic match for what has been taken to mean Armageddon for centuries:

Joel 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Van Kampen does not treat these verses as Armageddon, but as "a precursor to the day of the Lord and the return of Christ." That is not reasonable at all considering the thundering description given by the prophet in these verses. Yet, Van Kampen insists,

"This campaign will occur sometime during the second half of the seventieth week, just prior to when the great tribulation by Antichrist is cut short by God's day-of-the-Lord wrath."

Again, this gap created by PreWrath's interpretation of Matthew 24:22 and Mark 13:20 has to be filled in with some activity, but it cannot be the final activity of the Lord for He must still come, in the PreWrath scenario, for the battle of Armageddon after the end of Daniel's 70th week.

The Armageddon Campaign

Van Kampen then describes the last battle:

"The third campaign will be the Armageddon Campaign, which will take place after the seventieth week is complete, at the end of the day of the Lord. This will involve primarily the ungodly armies of the eighth beast empire and their battle against the righteous forces of Christ.

"These three military campaigns, then, will occur at different points in the end times, and they must be properly distinguished and understood in order to avoid serious confusion. For the sake of clarity, therefore, these campaigns have been given these three different names, based on how they are described in Scripture.

In PreWrath, I am finding that are a lot of events that are being split into segments to cover this time period created by shortening the days of the Great Tribulation, and here it is done again with the battle of Armageddon. There are two major battles: one where the Antichrist takes Jerusalem and the other when the Lord takes him and throws him into the lake of fire.