Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future, 2.0 Version, by Joel C. Rosenberg.

Monday, May 6th, 2019

I like to review older books that made predictions or observations about the near future to see if those predictions and observations held up. For one thing, it tells me the worth of reading the author’s following works. One such book is Epicenter by Joel C. Rosenberg, written originally in 2006 and updated to version 2.0 in 2008.

If you’ve watched Fox News or listened to Rush Limbaugh, Joel Rosenberg will be familiar to you. He is known for his novels that take Biblical prophecies as a premise for story building. Epicenter is a non-fiction survey of the Gog and Magog prophecy of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, which the author used as a setting for his novel The Ezekiel Option. It examines the world political situation at the time and evaluates how well it fits the conditions of Ezekiel’s prophetic setting.

The yet unfulfilled prophecies in the last chapters of Ezekiel appear to be written in the chronological order in which they will occur. Chapters 36 and 37 deal with the restoration of Israel in the last days, which has happened in modern times. The prophecies of chapters 40 and beyond appear to be set in apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic times. The prophecy of chapters 38 and 39 fit into history sometime after Israel is re-established as a nation, but sometime before the end of the age. Plausibly, that time could be now.

The prophecy is addressed to a future political leaded named Gog from a land to the “uttermost north” relative to Israel, and lists the nations that he leads as Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. This leader’s armies and those of his allies will invade Israel, but the invasion will fail due to divine intervention, which will wake up the world to God’s existence. Gog’s allies are listed as Persia, Cush, Phut, Togarmah, and Gomer. Epicenter identifies these nations – Rosh as Russia, Meshech as Moscow, Tubal as Tobolsk (in Russia), Magog as the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, Persia as Iran, Cush as Ethiopia, Phut as Libya, Togarmah as the Turkic peoples also of Central Asia or perhaps Turkey itself or Armenia, and Gomer as possibly Germany. It then examines the then-current dispositions of those nations toward Israel, principally Russia and Iran, and discusses the possibility that Vladimir Putin is Gog.

Epicenter is written as a thesis of the plausibility of the Gog prophecy occurring in the near future, but it’s more of an exposition of the prophetic event as it would occur in our times, rather than an assertion that it is imminent. The author is not afraid to address difficulties with this thesis, such as the apparent participation of Germany and Turkey in the invading coalition, both of which seemed highly implausible in 2006. To his credit, Joel Rosenberg avoids the tendency of Bible prophecy teachers to bend interpretation of prophecy to the current political situation; instead, he takes bible prophecy for what it says, and takes the posture that the political situation will change to match the prophetic setting.

The scenario of the Gog prophecy occurring in the near future as presented in Epicenter, remains as plausible now as it did a decade ago, and in some respects, more so. Russia and Iran in particular, seem to fit as candidates for the Ezekiel prophecy as before. Perhaps most telling of the continued plausibility of the prophecy’s fulfilment in the near future is that the author’s website, www.joelrosenberg.com, still features this book among his non-fiction writings.

Even more stark, is what the prophecy implies about future USA-Israeli relations. The Ezekiel prophecy states that Israel will stand alone, and Epicenter dutifully points this out. Other nations will question the intent of Gog, but no one other than God is declared as acting on Israel’s behalf. When Epicenter was written in 2006, then updated in 2008, the United States of America was committed to Israeli security. However, the tenure of the Obama administration put continuation of this policy into doubt, and despite the current Trump administration’s strong backing of Israel, the vicissitudes of American politics are such that it is plausible that a successor administration would abandon the USA’s long alliance with Israel.

I recommend Epicenter as an introduction to interpreting and understanding Ezekiel 38 and 39. Joel Rosenberg’s careful examination of the possibility that this prophetic event may occur in our lifetime will leave the reader watchful of the developing foreign policies of the nations who are its players.