Last night, a blog dedicated to reporting anything and everything about spy novels and political thrillers published the first story on my next novel — its title, cover, and release date. It’s all true, so I thought I’d post the article here for you.
A number of you have already been writing with questions. Here are answers to two of them:
Yes, we are planning a book tour. Currently, we’re sifting through various speaking invitations in locations all over the country. I’ll post more on that — and more details about the novel, including exclusive excerpts — in the months to come.
Joel C. Rosenberg’s Next J.B. Collins Novel, ‘Without Warning,’ Scheduled To Hit Bookstores On March 14, 2017
Having been called a “modern-day Nostradamus” by U.S. News and World Report, author Joel C. Rosenberg has made a career out of turning heads with the headline-beating themes and scenarios featured in his novels.
While the bestselling author technically writes fiction, his books (or parts of them) have a remarkable history of coming true after publication.
Rosenberg, who has already penned two brilliant series (one starts with The Last Jihad, the other with The Twelfth Imam), is currently two books into his latest series following J.B. Collins, a foreign correspondent for the New York Times.
Beginning with The Third Target, which came out in January of 2015, the story follows Collins as he makes his way into the heart of ISIS territory after hearing whispers suggesting that the terrorist organization successfully smuggled chemical weapons out of Syria. Initially hoping to confirm or deny those rumors, a second question soon plagues the young reporter, who begins to wonder if ISIS does, indeed, have chemical weapons, which country might they be planning to use them against?
Later that same year, the second book in the series, The First Hostage, was released. Picking up just seconds from where The Third Target ended (at a rather nail-biting cliffhanger, I might add), Collins finds himself in another unique, high-pressure situation, as he’s the only reporter with insider access to cover the worldwide response to ISIS’s latest attack.
With no new titles being released in 2016, Rosenberg’s fans have anxiously been awaiting any and all updates on the third Collins novel. Good news, though. Not only is the wait for updates finally over, but the countdown to the release of Rosenberg’s next novel officially starts now!
Without Warning, the highly-anticipated follow-up to The First Hostage from Joel C. Rosenberg and Tyndale House Publishers, is scheduled to hit bookstores everywhere on March 14, 2017. (Scroll down to check out the awesome cover art, and to read the official plot details.)
From the publisher:
“As he prepares to deliver the State of the Union address, the president of the United States is convinced the Islamic State is on the run, about to be crushed by American forces once and for all. But New York Times foreign correspondent J. B. Collins tells the president he’s dead wrong. With the Middle East on fire, the Israeli prime minister dead, and Amman in ruins, Collins fears a catastrophic attack inside the American homeland is imminent. He argues that only an all-out manhunt to capture or kill Abu Kahlif―the leader of ISIS―can stop the attack and save American lives. But will the president listen and take decisive action before it’s too late?”
Judging by the plot synopsis, it sounds like Without Warning will be well worth the wait as Rosenberg appears to have written another timely thriller that feels all too plausible in today’s world.
On Sunday night, I returned home to Israel from a very encouraging four-day trip to Jordan.
The purpose was to visit the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS), at the invitation of its founder and president, Dr. Imad Shehadeh. A Jordanian national, Imad is a remarkable Arab believer who graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (and currently serves on the board of DTS). He has a deep passion for studying and teaching the Word of God and training others to “preach the Word, in season and at out” and it’s clear that the Lord has truly given favor to this man despite enormous challenges he and his wife have faced over the years.
Until this trip, Imad and I had never met, only communicated by phone and email. So I was enormously grateful for his invitation and eager to get to know him and his colleagues.
In many ways, this trip was an ideal complement to the visit I made to Jordan earlier this spring. On that five-day visit, I focused primarily on better understanding how Jordan’s monarch and government leaders are handling the refugee crisis and various security challenges, particularly the threat of ISIS. On this trip, I was able to focus on understanding on how the Jordanian Church is doing and how they are training future pastors and ministry leaders.
I traveled into Jordan with some dear friends, Rev. Munir Kakish and his wife, Sharon. Munir is a Jordanian citizen, but grew up most of his life on the West Bank. He is a pastor in Ramallah and also runs an orphanage. For the past decade, he has also served as chairman of the Palestinian Evangelical Council of churches and Christian ministries. It was very encouraging to spend so much time with them and get their take on the health and growth of the Church in the West Bank and Gaza as well in Jordan. (plus, they took me to some wonderful restaurants in and around Amman!)
Together, we had a great time meeting with Imad and other Jordanian pastors and Christian leaders and hearing their perspective on what God is doing in Jordan and throughout the region these days. We toured the beautiful JETS campus on the outskirts of Amman (some of which is still under construction.) We attended a banquet with students and faculty to celebrate JETS’ 25th anniversary, and we had the joy of attending the graduation ceremony.
I was deeply impressed and enormously encouraged by what I saw. I learned that the Church in Jordan is growing steadily and there are now between 10,000 and 15,000 Evangelical Arab Christians. The gospel is being preached throughout the country both by pastors and individuals sharing their faith with neighbors and even more extensively by the ministry of numerous Christian satellite TV networks — broadcasting the gospel and Bible teaching in Arabic — that can be seen all throughout Jordan.
And starting 25 years ago, the Lord began raising up in JETS a doctrinally solid, Bible-centered theological training center for pastors and future ministry leaders. The school has the support of all the Evangelical denominations in the country and is producing quality graduates, well grounded in their faith.
Here, too, is a more detailed snapshot of what God has been doing JETS over the last 25 years:
JETS was founded in 1991.
The first graduating class was in 1996.
On Saturday, August 20, 2016, 38 students graduated — this was the 20th cohort of students completing their studies at JETS since it was founded.
Since its inception, JETS has 285 graduates with degrees up to a Master of Theology (Th.M.).
Many more students have taken classes and received theological training without being in a degree program. This includes special programs for American students taking semester-long courses, as well as students who participate in non-formal training.
The average enrollment on campus is 120 students in degree programs.
Thirty-four students have applied to the new Doctor of Ministry program in the Fall of 2016.
A growing number of students receive their JETS education through on-line distance learning programs. This is a growing trend.
Graduates are serving in 10 Arab countries, as well as Arab communities in 11 non-Arab countries.
60% of the churches in Jordan are pastored by JETS graduates.
95% of Jordanian churches include JETS graduates in their ministries.
At the beginning, Dr. Shehadeh was the only Jordanian national to be teaching at the seminary. Today, however, 8 of 17 resident faculty are Jordanian nationals, and most have Ph.D.’s.
JETS also has a pool of at least 24 adjunct and visiting faculty from the West.
The JETS library contains 37,000 volumes.
Given the volatility in the region, please continue praying for the people and leaders of Jordan. Please pray for the Church in Jordan. And please pray for those involved in JETS, that the Lord may continue to do a great work in and through the faculty, students and graduates for His glory. Thanks so much.
When I sit down to write a novel, I don’t set out to predict the future.
Rather, I set out to write about worst case scenarios that could come to pass if our leaders are blind-sided by evil they ignore or misunderstand.
This was the case when I began writing my first novel, The Last Jihad, in January 2001. That was a novel that opened with a group of Radical Islamic terrorists hijacking a jet plane and flying a kamikaze mission into an American city, an attack that sets into motion a U.S. war against Saddam Hussein.
That was also the case when in the fall of 2013 I began writing The Third Target, the first installment in my latest series of political thrillers. After doing months of research, meeting with two former CIA directors, a former head of Israel’s Mossad, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Jordan, and numerous of military and intelligence experts, I set out to write a novel about a New York Times reporter named J.B. Collins who hears a rumor that ISIS has captured a cache of chemical weapons from a military base in northern Syria.
As that novel, and the second in the series — The First Hostage— unfold, Collins and two colleagues slip into hellish, war-torn Syria to track down and interview an ISIS operative to confirm the story. Along the way, Collins and his team not only discover that the terror group has these horrific weapons but that the leaders of ISIS hold to an End Times theology that is driving them to wage genocide against Christians, Jews and any Muslim that doesn’t follow their brand of Apocalyptic Islam to establish and expand their so-called Caliphate or Islamic kingdom.
That was fiction when I wrote it — but no longer. Unfortunately, this worst-case scenario appears to be coming to pass.
Abu Ahmed told us about how the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant (ISIS) came to acquire some of the world’s most fearsome weapons, which were claimed as spoils of war from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces months before its creation.
Roughly four months before the split between the Nusra Front and ISIS,in December 2012, dozens of Syrian jihadi fighters climbed a hill toward Regiment 111 — a large army base near the town of Darat Izza, in northern Syria. That town had been taken roughly five months earlier by a coalition of rebel groups. But while they had besieged Regiment 111 since the summer of 2012, they still had not succeeded in capturing the base from the troops loyal to President Assad.
The weather had turned bad in winter, however, making it more difficult for the Syrian Air Force to hold off the rebels with airstrikes. Moreover, the base was huge, sprawling over almost 500 acres, and difficult to protect from all approaches.
Syrian Army soldiers inside Regiment 111 successfully defended their base during the first rebel attack in early November 2012, killing 18 Nusra fighters in the process. But the cold December wind only fortified the rebels’ resolve. The base was a goldmine: home to guns, artillery, ammunition, and vehicles. And deep inside Regiment 111’s bunkers lay something even more valuable — a cache of chemical weapons….
Within a day, the combined jihadi forces had broken through the lines of the Syrian Army. Shortly after, Regiment 111 was fully under jihadi control. They found large stocks of weapons, ammunition and, to their surprise, chemical agents. They were, according to Abu Ahmad, mainly barrels filled with chlorine, sarin, and mustard gas.
What followed was the distribution of the war spoils. Everybody took some ammunition and weapons. But only the Nusra Front seized the chemical weapons. Abu Ahmad watched as the al Qaeda affiliate called in 10 large cargo trucks, loaded 15 containers with chlorine and sarin gas, and drove them away to an unknown destination. He did not see what happened to the mustard gas.
Three months later, both the Syrian government and rebel groups reported an attack in Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo. The international media said that 26 people had been killed, among them 16 regime soldiers and 10 civilians. Both the Syrian regime and opposition claimed that chemical weapons had been used — and both accused the other of having carried out one of the first chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian war…..
To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it. Let us pray our leaders wake up to the true magnitude of the threat posed by ISIS and stop taking half-measures. It’s time to declare war on ISIS, take the gloves off, and do everything in our power — in close cooperation with our allies, especially those in the region — to end this scourge of evil once and for all.
The next President of the United States, and his or her advisors, need to carefully study and analyze the latest issue of Dabiq, the full-color propaganda magazine of the Islamic State. So do other world leaders, Members of Congress and Middle East policy-makers. So do you.
Three reasons — in this edition of Dabiq:
ISIS leaders make clear they want to bring about the End of Days.
ISIS leaders vow to “break the cross” — that is, to slaughter Christians in the Middle East, in the West, and around the world, and to annihilate Christianity from the Earth.
ISIS leaders lay out the six reasons they hate us, they state their ultimate objective, and they explain why they will never stop killing until they achieve total victory.
Far too many leaders in Washington believe the West is winning the war against ISIS. That is a dangerous fallacy. The sober truth is that we are not winning. ISIS is winning. Yes, ISIS is losing large tracts of territory in Iraq. They are also losing ground in Syria. But their forces are growing. The global reach of their attacks is spreading. Their blood-thirsty version of Apocalyptic Islam is metastasizing.
At the same time, far too few leaders in Washington and other capitals truly understand the theology, eschatology and objectives motivating the men and women running ISIS.
This is not Al Qaeda 2.0. The Islamic State and their pursuit of the caliphate is something far, far more dangerous. Those who misunderstand the nature and threat of this especially pernicious form of evil are at risk of allowing the country to be repeatedly blindsided by it with catastrophic results.
ISIS LEADERS WANT TO BRING ABOUT THE END OF DAYS
Throughout the entire issue is the genocidal End Times language of Apocalyptic Islam.
ISIS wants readers to understand their plan to create a global caliphate where everyone submits to Islam comes from the Qur’an and other Islamic scriptures. Regardless of what their critics say, they are emphatic that they are following the true path and that there is a great sense of urgency to obey Allah because the end is very near.
To be clear, it is not wrong necessarily to hold to an eschatology that says the messiah is coming to establish peace and justice on the Earth. Jews and Christians have their own versions of End Times theology, based on the Biblical teachings of the Old and New Testaments. That said, the Bible never calls on Jews and/or Christians to annihilate their enemies to bring about the Kingdom of the Messiah.
However, Apocalyptic Islam teaches exactly this — and this is one of the reasons it is both evil and dangerous.
For policy-makers unfamiliar with the concepts of Apocalyptic Islam, this issue of Dabiq provides some clear and thus useful language about what ISIS leaders believe:
“It is Allah who prepared the Earth for the bloodiest battle before the Hour, to see His slaves sweat in spilling their blood and that of His enemies.” (p. 13)
“When the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, returns in the end days to battle the Antichrist — the false messiah — and his army, of the myths he will debunk once and for all are those of his crucifixion and divinity. This will be when he [Jesus] breaks the cross….” (p. 48)
“When he [Jesus] returns in the final days, the Messiah will adhere to the Law of Muhammad and wage jihad for the cause of Allah….” (p. 49)
ISIS LEADERS WANT TO ACHIEVE THE ANNIHILATION OF CHRISTIANITY
Having studied and read through many previous editions of Dabiq, what strikes me about this edition is how directly ISIS leaders are aiming at the theology and eschatology of Biblical Christianity.
There are articles that attempt to “debunk” the “myths” that Jesus died on the cross, rose from the dead, and was divine.
The authors try to blame modern Christianity on the Apostle Paul whom they claim was a liar that perverted the real teachings of Jesus.
The magazine is full of quotes from the Old and New Testaments, the Qur’an, and other sayings of Muhammad, pitting the ISIS brand of Islam against Judaism and Christianity.
There are interview with ISIS jihadists who claim to have been raised as Christians but later converted to Islam — the ISIS brand of Islam — and now are waging jihad, killing with abandon.
The article targets Protestants as well as Catholics and includes an article specifically attacking the current Pope as the “enemy” of Islam.
What emerges over eighty-some pages is this: ISIS leaders are calling on Christians around the world to renounce the Gospel and embrace their version of Islam or face slaughter at the hands of jihadists today, and ultimate annihilation by Jesus tomorrow, followed by a sentence to eternal damnation in the fires of Hell.
ISIS LEADERS WON’T STOP KILLING UNTIL THEY ACHIEVE TOTAL VICTORY
Finally, I commend to your attention an article titled, “Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You.” (p. 30) Consider a few excerpts:
“We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the Oneness of Allah — whether you realize it or not — by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against his prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices….
“We hate you because of your secular, liberal, societies permit the very things that Allah has prohibited….
“In the case of the atheist fringe, we hate you and wage war against you because you disbelieve the existence of your Lord and Creator….
“We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion….
“We hate you for the crimes against the Muslims….
“We hate you for invading our lands and fight you to repel you and drive you out….” (p. 31-32)
The article concludes by stating clearly and unequivocally that ISIS will not stop killing until every person on earth is a Muslim they way they define Islam.
“[E]ven if you [infidels] were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us and usurping our lands,” note the authors, “we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease until you embrace Islam.” (p. 33)
“The fact is we wage — and continue to escalate — a calculated war that the West thought it had ended several years ago. We continue dragging you further into a swamp you thought you had escaped only to realize that you’re stuck in its murky waters.”
The ISIS leaders explain that, at best, the world of infidels can obtain a “temporary truce” by surrendering to the caliphate and paying the slave tax known as the “jizyah.” But in the end, they are explicit in their objectives: they won’t be deterred from conquering and slaughtering until every man, woman on child is a Muslim of the ISIS brand.
As I have been arguing repeatedly again in recent years (see here, here, here, here,here, and here), it is critically important that leaders in Washington and in capitals around the world read and study carefully what the leaders of ISIS are saying.
ISIS leaders are not hiding their genocidal End Times objectives. Nor are they hiding their hatred of the world’s two billion Christians, plus all other “infidels” who don’t see God and the world and the future the way they do. Rather, they are being as explicit as they can. They want to be heard. They want to be understood. They do not fear being “found out.” To the contrary, they are absolutely certain they are on the winning side of history.
Admittedly, eschatology is not the language of the West’s historic enemies. Most world leaders and their advisor have interest in — and certainly little if any desire to talk about — varying interpretations of Jewish, Christian and/or Islamic End Times theology. But we are living in very different times. These are the cards we’ve been dealt. This enemy is unlike most others we have ever faced. Their motivations are different. Their strategies are different. So are their tactics.
We’d better understand the game, and how its stakes really are, before it’s too late.
NOTE: Be advised that the magazine includes some graphic and gruesome color photographs of ISIS atrocities. I do not recommend children study this issue. Parents and educators should only proceed with caution.
Some good news this week — the number of terrorist attacks inside Israel has plunged from a high of 70 last October to only six in July.
“The number of terrorist attacks in Israel last month was one of the lowest in 10 months,” reports the Jerusalem Post. “There were six attacks in July, according to the IDF, a drastic fall from the 70 seen last October. Since the current wave of terrorism began, 41 Israelis and foreigners and about 250 Palestinians have died.”
“A senior IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the July number shows that recent tactics used by the security system are working,” the Post noted. “These include a combination of precise intelligence from the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) with daily and nightly IDF operations to distinguish terrorists from the rest of the population in the West Bank. The operations allow the majority of Palestinians, including 100,000 holders of Israeli work permits, to continue with their day to day routines.”
The article further noted that “the success in pinpointing and stopping terrorism, most of which has come from ‘lone wolf’ attackers, will be a major issue brought up by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot during his visit this week to the United States. Eisenkot is a guest of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is the third meeting between the two since Eisenkot entered his position a year and a half ago. Dunford has been a guest of the IDF in Israel twice.”
Thank the Lord for His grace and mercy on both Jews and Arabs and other nationalities here. Thanks, too, to all of you who in the U.S., Canada, and around the world who continue to faithfully and consistently pray for the peace of Jerusalem in obedience to Psalm 122. The Lord is hearing and answering these prayers, and we have much for which to be grateful. Let’s keep praying — and praying especially for those who have been wounded over the past year, and for the families and friends of those who have been killed and are still grieving.