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Steve Forbes calls #TheFirstHostage a “stunning, spine-tingling, steroid-paced” tale. Here’s his new review in Forbes magazine.

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2016 at 7:13 pm


(Dallas, Texas) — Just read the review of The First Hostage by Steve Forbes in the latest issue of FORBES magazine and I wanted to pass it along to you all.

Thanks so much, Steve — I’m  so glad you enjoyed the novel this much. I couldn’t be more grateful! Now, let’s get this thing turned into a major Hollywood blockbuster.



The First Hostageby Joel Rosenberg (Tyndale House Publishers, $26.99). If you’re not already a fan of Joel Rosenberg, whose books–fiction and nonfiction–have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide, you’ll be one once you’ve read this latest novel. It combines Joel’s ability to spin stunning, spine-tingling, steroid-paced tales with his impressively deep knowledge of the Middle East.

The First Hostage is the second in a new series of action thrillers whose main character is New York Times journalist J.B. Collins. Although this is an exciting stand-alone read, you might first want to dive into its precursor, The Third Target. These novels involve ISIS terrorist attacks; espionage, with a possible highly placed, pro-ISIS American mole; weapons of mass destruction; and intrigue galore.

This book begins where the first left off: at a meeting in Amman, Jordan, where the king of Jordan, the U.S. President, Israel’s prime minister and the head of the Palestinian Authority are about to sign a historic peace agreement. ISIS launches a massive attack, and in the confusion the President goes missing. Collins is there covering the event but before long finds himself suspected of being a mole. There are many mind-boggling twists and plenty of suspense before the book ends.

Joel Rosenberg, who in a previous life served as the director of research for my 2000 presidential campaign, knows his subject well. An evangelical Christian who lives in Israel with his wife and children, he has addressed audiences around the world; been interviewed for his insightful analyses on hundreds of TV and radio programs; and advised world leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Joel knows too much to ever share President Obama’s delusion that what’s unfolding in the Middle East isn’t much of a threat to the West.



Which, if any, of the presidential candidates understand Apocalyptic Islam? My conversation with Todd Starnes of Fox News.

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2016 at 4:14 pm

ToddStarnes-columnonApocalypticIslam(Dallas, Texas) — The other day, I was interviewed by Todd Starnes of Fox News. He asked me about my family’s move as a family to Israel and my experience writing novels that seem to foreshadow future terrorist attacks and wars. He also asked me about my take on the 2016 presidential campaign and whether President Obama or the leading presidential candidates understand the threat of Apocalyptic Islam and are prepared to deal with it.

Todd just finished reading The First Hostage. He very graciously called it “a page-turning political thriller” and “a riveting account of Islamic radicals kidnapping an American president.” And as he opened the podcast, he took me aback by saying, “one of my favorite authors on the entire planet is a guy named Joel C. Rosenberg,” noting that he was introduced to my novels through Rush Limbaugh talking about them on his programs.

I very much enjoyed our conversation, and it was one of the more thoughtful discussions I’ve done on the book tour so far. It runs about 30 minutes. Hope you’ll take time to listen to the podcast (I’ve just become a subscriber), and share it with others.

A few excerpts from the column:

“Once you understand Apocalyptic Islam, you understand just how dangerous it is to give Iran not just one path to nuclear weapons, but two,” he said. “This president doesn’t understand the threat of radical Islam. He won’t even define that – much less Apocalyptic Islam.”

And he doesn’t hold out much hope for the current presidential frontrunners [Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump] either.

“This is a very challenging year when you have a president and two frontrunners who just don’t understand the most serious foreign policy threat of our time,” he said. “That is not comforting.” Rosenberg has offered counsel to several Republican presidential campaigns including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

“Senator Rubio totally gets it,” he said. “He’s been using that language in the debates and in his speeches.”

Among the others who “get it” are Cruz, Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum.

What about Donald Trump?

“It’s clear [Trump] doesn’t understand this,” he said. ‘It’s just all bloviating.'”

[NOTE: Examples of how Trump doesn’t understand foreign policy or threat of Apocalyptic Islam….

It’s not so much that the world is facing a future threat — the threat is already here.

“These people are crucifying Christians, they’re beheading people” he said. “They are creating mayhem and really genocidal conditions in Syria and Iraq and our current president is just using half measure to run some sort of public relations war against them.”

He [President Obama] doesn’t have a plan.

[FINAL NOTE: Though I forgot to mention him during the interview, I would note that Gov. Huckabee understands that threat of Apocalyptic Islam, as well.]



What’s the difference between Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology & Biblical eschatology? And why does it matter? (Video & sermon notes)

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Harvest-Joel-preaching3NOTE: I am so grateful to God that four Iranian-Americans were released from prison in Iran over the weekend, including a Washington Post reporter and an Evangelical pastor. Click here to read more about how God was using Pastor Saeed Abedini to preach the Gospel inside the worst prisons of Iran.

(Riverside, California) — Yesterday here in Southern California, I did a Q&A session and delivered a sermon on the differences between Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology (End Times theology) and Biblical eschatology.

I explained why this topic matters, and why it’s particularly important right now.

This was the first of a series of messages I will be delivering as part of our month-long book tour for The First Hostage, and I’m very grateful to my friend, Pastor Greg Laurie, for inviting me. My intention is to post notes and the video or audio of each message along the way. I hope you find them helpful. Please feel free to comment on our Epicenter Team page on Facebook, and to share this with family, friends and colleagues on social media.

To watch the video of this message, please click here.


First, some background: Radical Islam is a serious threat, but it’s not the most dangerous threat the West faces. Apocalyptic Islam is far more dangerous.

Radical Islam seeks to attack us. Apocalyptic Islam seeks to annihilate us.

Radical Islam (al Qaeda, Hamas, the Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood, etc) uses violence for the purpose of persuading Jews, Christians and other so-called “infidels” to withdraw from — and leave entirely — the holy lands and holy places they consider their own, namely the Middle East and North Africa.

Apocalyptic Islam (such as the top leaders of Iran, and the leaders of the Islamic State) do not merely seek to drive infidels out of their region. They are driven by ancient Islamic prophecies. They believe the End of Days is at hand, that their messiah (known as the Mahdi) will come at any moment to establish an Islamic kingdom or caliphate that will rule over the entire globe, and that the way to hasten the coming of the Mahdi is to annihilate the infidels who refuse to submit to their brand of Islam.

To be clear: having an eschatology is not necessarily wrong. What is both wrong and horrific is having an eschatology that requires a person or an entire religion to rob, kill, destroy and even commit genocide to achieve their religious objectives.

Devout Jews believe the Messiah will come one day to establish a global kingdom (see Daniel 7, Jeremiah 23 and Isaiah 9, among other passages). Christians believe this as well and believe that Jesus of Nazareth is, in fact, that Messiah and that He will come again to establish His kingdom in the last days (see the Book of Revelation, among other passages). Having said that, it’s important to understand that both devout Jews and Christians believe God will supernaturally achieve these objectives. We do not believe that God requires us to slaughter our enemies en masse to bring about the End of Days and establish His kingdom.

Most world leaders do not understand these issues. Most citizens don’t either. But the rise of Apocalyptic, genocidal Islam makes it urgent that we and our leaders study and understand these distinctions. We cannot defeat an enemy we cannot or will not define.

There are some similarities within Islamic, Jewish and Christian teachings about the End Times. Indeed, when it comes to the study of eschatology, most devout Muslims (Sunnis and Shias), Jews and Christians — that is, those who take their holy books seriously and haven’t rejected or drifted from the orthodoxy of their religions — agree on five basic points.

  1. Ancient prophecies in our holy books give us signs to watch for that will indicate when the End of Days has come.
  2. So many signs are coming to pass in our time that we can be confident that we are, in fact, living in the End of Days.
  3. The Messiah is coming to earth, and it is possible that this will happen very soon.
  4. The coming Messiah is the King, He will establish a global kingdom, and He usher in justice and righteousness on the earth.
  5. Each of us must live differently in view of the fact that we are living in the End of Days and the fact that each of us will face the Final Judgment soon.

That said, the vast majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are not dangerous. Polling research indicates about 7% to 10% of Muslims worldwide subscribe to the concept of violent jihad to achieve their objectives. And while all devout Muslims believe the Mahdi is coming in the End Times to establish a global caliphate, the vast majority do not support violence much less genocide to achieve those ends. But some do, including the leaders of Iran and ISIS, and that’s what makes them so dangerous.

What, then, are the main differences between Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology (based on the Qur’an and the hadiths) and Biblical eschatology (based on the Old and New Testaments)? I’ve prepared a simple chart to draw out some of the important distinctions.ApocalypticIslam-chartSome important questions are these:

  • According to the Bible, how does one enter the Kingdom of God?
  • According to the Bible, how is one adopted into the royal family of God?
  • What did John the Baptist mean when he preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”?
  • What did Jesus mean when he preached “the gospel of the kingdom”?

I hope you’ll take some time to watch this message in full.

For more resources, please see below:



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