Special Report: Jimmy Carter and The End Times
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Jimmy Carter and The End Times
By Joel Rosenberg
President Jimmy Carter's visits to Hamas have raised some eyebrows in the religious community. Do his visits have any Biblically prophetic significance? Here are my thoughts.
First, Hamas's offer of a 10 year peace deal with Israel is a new and startling development. I personally don't believe Hamas really wants peace with Israel. What's more, the founding Hamas Charter explicitly rejects all comprehensive peace treaties with the Jews. This is simply a ruse to get Israel to stop assassinating Hamas terrorist leaders and lure Israel into a false sense of security. But that's not the point. The point is that this the first time in history that one of Israel's primary enemies has suggested forging not a comprehensive peace deal in perpetuity, but a peace treaty of a short and specific time frame. Israel's treaty with Egypt signed in 1979 was not a time-limited agreement. Neither was Israel's treaty with Jordan in 1994. The Oslo Agreements were never time-limited. Nor is President Bush's "Road Map" for Middle East peace. This is a new development. And I suspect the Hamas offer will eventually be taken seriously by the leaders of Israel, the U.N. and the E.U. (perhaps the U.S., too.)
Second, this time-limited peace offer by Hamas is fascinating in that it is completely consistent with Bible prophecy about the last days. In Daniel 9:27, the ancient Hebrew prophet tells us that in the End of Days, an evil leader will make a comprehensive peace deal or covenant with Israel and her many neighbors and enemies. That deal will seem "firm," says Daniel, but it will not be forever. It will be for 7 years. According to the Book of Daniel and Revelation, Israel will accept the deal (fatally flawed though it is), but the evil leader will break the deal after 3 1/2 years, invade Israel, set up a global empire, and eventually trigger the War of Armageddon. Let me be clear: while Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al is without question an evil leader who seeks nothing less that the liberation of Jerusalem for radical Islam and the liquidation of all Jews and Christians in the Holy Land, I am not saying he is the evil leader of which Daniel writes. But Mash'al's proposal has now injected something new and Biblically significant into the Middle East peace process equation -- the element of a time-limited deal. Very interesting.
Third, in my new political thriller, Dead Heat, I write about this exact scenario of a time-limited peace deal between Israel and her enemies. On page 167, my fictional U.N. Secretary General says: "We need to win the Israelis' confidence. We need them to lower their guard. Their Zionist ideology is exhausted. Their political leaders are feckless. Their diplomatic leaders are so desperate to be loved, to be accepted by the rest of the world, they're willing to give away almost anything. But we must not make the ridiculous mistakes of the past. We must not threaten Israel with war. We must invite them to make peace. We must not turn our backs to them. We must offer them an open hand. We must not boycott them....We must shock them. We must offer them a comprehensive peace treaty, the likes of which the world has never seen before. We must lure them into feeling safe and secure. We must lull them into trusting us, into trusting me...And then, when all this has been accomplished, when the time is right, you and I will make our move. We will seize Jerusalem. We will raze the Temple....But not now. We're not ready -- yet." Then, on p. 371 of Dead Heat, my fictional Israeli Prime Minister says: "The world is suddenly very unstable and Israel, I'm afraid, is suddenly very vulnerable. [The U.N. Secretary General] is suggesting we go from Rome to Babylon and have some time alone with [the leader of Iraq]. He wants us to hammer out some kind of fast regional peace treaty -- even a temporary one, something that might last five or ten years, or so....To be honest, given all that's happening, I'm inclined to say yes."
Fourth, watch carefully to see if this concept of a time-limited Arab-Israeli peace deal gains traction. I wrote about a fictional deal like this in Dead Heat because it seemed like a plausible geopolitical scenario to get us to the Biblical prophecy of a 7-year Middle East peace deal. But until this week, no one in real life had ever talked seriously about a limited time frame for a peace deal with Israel. Now Israel's most dangerous immediate neighbor has, assisted by the architect of the Camp David Peace Accords. What's more, President Bush says he is optimistic that an Israeli-Palestinian deal can be struck by the end of 2008. Perhaps prophetic events are moving faster than most Americans think.
Joel Rosenberg is author of a new book, Dead Heat available now where ever books are sold.
Special Report: What Senator Clinton doesn't get about Iran
Thursday, April 24, 2008
What Senator Clinton doesn't get about Iran
By Joel C. Rosenberg
Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday won a decisive victory in Pennsylvania, keeping alive her chances of securing the Democratic nomination for president, though Barack Obama still seems to have the upper hand for now. But barely noticed by the mainstream media was a serious foreign policy error she made Tuesday morning on ABC's Good Morning America. I suspect, however, that should Sen. Clinton be so fortunate as to be the Democratic nominee -- much less President of the United States -- this error will come back to haunt her, and all of us.
"The question was if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, what would our response be?" Clinton told interviewer Chris Cuomo. "And I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran, and I want them to understand that, because it does mean that they have to look very carefully, uh, at their society. Because at whatever stage of development they might be in their nuclear weapons program, in the next ten years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them. That's like a terrible thing to say, but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish, and tragic."
It sounded tough at the time -- threatening to annihilate the Islamic Republic of Iran if they were to launch nuclear attacks against Israel. But there were two serious flaws in what she said.
First, by offering a reactive rather than a proactive military strategy vis-a-vis Iran, Sen. Clinton is allowing for the possibility of another Holocaust. If Iranian leaders get nuclear warheads, and can attach them to the high speed ballistic missiles they already have, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could do in about six minutes what it took Adolf Hitler six years to do: kill six million Jews (the number of Jews in Israel today). What good is it really to say that the U.S. would nuke Iran after Ahmadinejad accomplishes another Holocaust?
Second, Sen. Clinton believes her tough talk will "deter" Iran's leaders from launching a nuclear attack against Israel, but it won't. Sen. Clinton revealed in those comments her fundamental misunderstanding of the nature and threat of Ahmadinejad and his regime.
No one who truly understands Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's eschatology -- or end times theology -- could honestly believe that Ahmadinejad can be deterred. Ahmadinejad believes it is his God-given mission to annihilate the U.S., Israel and Judeo-Christian civilization as we know. To what end? To create the conditions that will bring the Islamic Messiah known as the Mahdi or the "12th Imam" to earth. As I point out in detail in my non-fiction book, Epicenter, that Glenn and I have discussed numerous times on his radio and TV shows, Ahmadinejad is not just another power-hungry dictator in the mold of the Soviet or Chinese leaders of yore. He is a Shia Islamic fascist. He believes his life destiny is to kill millions of Jews and Christians and usher in an Islamic caliphate. He believes he is a John-the-Baptist, a forerunner, of the Islamic Messiah. If he dies, he believes he will spend eternity in paradise with 72 virgins. But he doesn't really believe he's going to die. He believes he has been chosen for a divine appointment, and that nothing can stop him. That is what makes him so dangerous.
Unfortunately, too many Washington politicians -- Sens. Clinton and Obama included -- do not understand this. But understand this we must. For to misunderstand the nature and threat of Ahmadinejad's genocidal ambitions is to risk allowing the U.S. or our allies -- Israel, the EU or others -- to be blindsided by them. Ahmadinejad is not a terrorist in the classic sense. He doesn't simply want to frighten Jews and Christians. He wants to annihilate us. He cannot be deterred. He must be stopped BEFORE he and his regime is able to build, buy or steal nuclear weapons. If we wait too long, millions will die in an apocalyptic nightmare that will change the course of human history forever.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the author of five political thrillers. His latest, Dead Heat, has spent the last four weeks on the New York Times hardcover fiction best-seller list. He is also the best-selling author of the non-fiction book, Epicenter: Why Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future. You can learn more about him at www.joelrosenberg.com, or at www.joshuafund.net.
Special Report: Russia, Iran and Bible Prophecy
Friday, April 25, 2008
Russia, Iran and Bible Prophecy
By Joel C. Rosenberg
Does the Bible really predict the rise of a dictator in Russia? Does it really foretell the emergence of a Russian-Iranian alliance against Israel in the End of Days? And if so, is the military, political and economic alliance being formed in recent years by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad evidence that such prophecies are actually coming true in our lifetime? Glenn and I have been discussing these questions all week. But let me lay them out in more detail here for those interested in going a bit deeper.
One of the most fascinating sets of End Times prophecies in the Bible are found in the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. Remarkably, the Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel, writing more than 2,500 years ago, was able to look down the corridors of time and see nations not yet born, and alliances not yet formed. In doing so, he actually did foretell the rise of a Russian military alliance with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries to annihilate Israel during the earth's "last days." This is known by many Bible scholars as the "War of Gog and Magog."
In a moment, I will walk you through the prophecies step-by-step. But first, let me note that the predictions found in Ezekiel chapters 36 & 37 have already come true. These are the famous chapters that foretell:
· The rebirth of the State of Israel in the end times (both chapters)
· The return of the Jews to the Holy Land after centuries in exile (Ezekiel 36:10-11, 36:24, 36:37-38, 37:12, 37:21)
· The rebuilding of the ancient ruins in Israel (Ezekiel 36:36)
· The re-blossoming of desolate, desert lands to produce abundant food, fruit and foliage (Ezekiel 36:8-9 and 36:30-35)
· The creation of an "exceedingly great army" (Ezekiel 37:11)
Such prophecies began to be fulfilled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, accelerated in 1948 and 1967, and continue to come to pass to this day. This, of course, raises an intriguing question: If Ezekiel 36 and 37 have largely come true in our lifetime, isn't it possible that Ezekiel 38 and 39 will soon come true as well?
That said, let's examine Ezekiel 38 and 39 more carefully. In Ezekiel 38:1-6, the Hebrew prophet gives a list of obscure names that will form a united coalition. In my non-fiction book, Epicenter: Why The Current Rumblings In The Middle East Will Change Your Future, I carefully walk readers through these prophecies and document the historical detective work necessary to determine what modern nations are referred to by the ancient text. But here's an executive summary of the major points.
· "Gog" is described as being "of the land of Magog" and as the "prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal." Most Bible scholars believe Gog is not a name but a title, like Pharoah or Czar. He is a dictator who will hatch an "evil plan" (Ezekiel 38:10).
· "Magog" - Leading Bible scholars say this is Russia and republics of the former Soviet Union. The first century Roman historian Josephus said the "Magogites" were the peoples whom the Greeks called "Scythians." Scythians were a fierce, blood-thirsty civilization that settled north of the Baltic Sea in what is now Russia and the European republics of the former USSR.
· "Rosh, Meshech and Tubal" - Many, though not all, Bible scholars believe "Rosh" refers directly to Russia. Meshech is believed by many scholars to be Moscow (though some believe it refers to an ancient people group in Turkey). Some Bible scholars believe Tubal refers to the city/region of Tobolsk in Russia along the Tobol River. Others say it refers to a section of modern-day Turkey. (Interestingly, in 1964, massive reserves of oil and gas were discovered in the Tobolsk region of Siberia and people now refer to the region as the "energy center of Russia.")
· "Persia" - This was the official name of Iran until 1935.
· "Cush" - Based in significant part on the writings of the Roman historian Flavius Josephus, Bible scholars today believe "Cush" refers to Sudan and Ethiopia.
· "Put" - Bible scholars are confident that this refers to the modern day country of Libya, though it may also refer to parts of Algeria and Tunisia, based on the writings of Josephus, among others.
· "Gomer" - This is modern day Turkey, though some scholars also believe it could refer to Germany and Austria.
· "Beth-togarmah" - This refers to Armenia and the Turkic-speaking peoples of Central Asia, including the Islamic former republics of the Soviet Union.
· "Many peoples with you" who will attack along "the mountains of Israel" - Other countries will be involved in the coalition as well, notably countries that border the mountains of Israel. This includes Lebanon, Syria and possibly Jordan.
It should be noted that conspicuously absent from the list is Egypt and Iraq (typically referred to in Scripture as Babylon or Mesapotamia). This is noteworthy since Ezekiel was writing the prophecy in the City of Babylon, in the heart of Iraq. We would have to expect, then, that neither Egypt nor Iraq will participate. Egypt, of course, signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Iraq is now so engrossed in its own internal struggles that it would be unlikely to join a coalition to destroy Israel in the next few years. We are, therefore, living in the first window in human history in which neither of these historic enemies of the Jewish people are likely to be involved in the next major Middle East war.
Ezekiel 38-39 explains that the Russian dictator known as "Gog" will develop an "evil plan" to attack and destroy Israel and seize her wealth. He will begin to build an enormous military coalition, comprised of the countries described above. He will make extensive preparations to strike. When the time is right, Ezekiel says Russia will then deploy this coalition against Israel in a show of overwhelming force, coming against the Jewish State "like a storm."
The Bible makes it clear that when this "War of Gog and Magog" begins, no country will come to Israel's defense. Not the United Nations. Not the European Union. Not even the United States. Israel will feel utterly alone, and her enemies will be convinced that they are on the verge of an historic victory in which the Jews will be wiped off the map once and for all. But Ezekiel then says some supernatural will occur. The God of Israel - the God of the Bible - will bring judgment upon the enemies of Israel, beginning with Gog, the dictator of Russia. The Lord will trigger a massive earthquake in which "all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence." Gog's forces will turn against one another, and then they will be subject to pestilence, torrential rains, hailstones, and even fire from heaven. Israel will then capture her enemies weapons and burn them for seven years and it will take seven full months to bury all the bodies of Israel's slain enemies, so great will be the devastation.
When will all this happen? We don't know for certain. But Ezekiel gives us several important clues. First, Israel will be a country again and Jews will be regathered to the Holy Land. Second, Israelis will be "living securely" before the "War of Gog and Magog," though the Scriptures do not go so far as to say that they will have comprehensive peace treaties with their neighbors. Third, Israel will have a measure of economic prosperity, according to the text. And fourth, Ezekiel 38:16 says explicitly that all these events "will come about in the last days" (that is, before the Battle of Armageddon).
In closing, let me be clear. Yes, Israel has been reborn as a country for the first time in 2,000 years. Yes, a dictator is rising to power in Russia that seems "Gog-esque." Yes, Russia and Iran are building an alliance today for the first time in 2,500 years. Yes, Russia and Libya are now building a new alliance. Yes, Iran is threatening to wipe Israel "off the map." Is all this conclusive proof that the "War of Gog and Magog" will happen soon, much less in our lifetime? No, I don't think we can make that assessment. Not yet, at least. Much more will have to happen to be sure. But can we rule out the possibility that this prophetic war could happen in the not-too-distant future? No, I don't think we can.
As for me, I don't want it to happen at all. But no man can stop what Bible prophecy says will come to pass. The most we can do is to be ready when it happens, and find ways to care for those in the Middle East and Russia who will be victims of this terrible war.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of political thrillers like Dead Heat, his latest novel. He is also the founder of The Joshua Fund, which provides humanitarian relief to Israel and her neighbors. For more information on this topic, you may wish to read Joel's non-fiction book, Epicenter: Why Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future.