Part Four of The Last Jihad series by Joel C. Rosenberg takes a new direction from the previous installments, placing less focus on genuine international politics (after all, Rosenberg’s world has been completely rearranged after nuclear blasts and a fierce firestorm from God against His enemies) and more on the destinies his characters now face in the aftermath of all the world’s horror. This time, Rosenberg takes some cues from Dan Brown as his heroes, John Bennett and his new bride Erin McCoy, race against their own life clocks in search of the greatest archaeological find yet to be discovered, the Temple Treasures of the Jews.
Although Rosenberg’s novels depend more on conversations and introspections than they do pure action, they never fail to excite. Unlike Dan Brown, whose successes have come through adrenaline-pumping manipulation of the Truth (aka, “high-octane heresy”), Rosenberg is committed to remaining true to the prophecies and principles of Scripture while at the same time creatively exploring the exciting possibilities of their interpretation. Two of Rosenberg’s theories concerning the End Times particularly stand out to me, for despite their optimism, I’ve never heard anyone discuss them before.
First is an idea about the Antichrist that I had considered in my youth as the only plausible explanation for his identity, yet had later forgotten since no preacher or theologian had ever confirmed it for me (until Rosenberg of course). The idea is simple: Satan’s not omniscient, and Jesus Himself acknowledged that “no one knows the hour” of Christ’s return for His Church. Thus, since Satan has no idea when his Antichrist will take over the world, he has necessarily kept a series of men in play for the past 2,000 years, each poised to step onto the world stage and do all that has been prophesied about him, if given the chance. Rosenberg mentions the likelihood that histories conquerors and dictators were likely such men, though I believe that the Antichrist will not be a ruthless man at first, for he must convince the entire world to follow him towards peace. This does not mean that our Hitlers and Mussolinis and Stalins were not Satan’s men at one point. It just means that they were his men at much younger ages, during their various rises to power. If this is true, we can easily trace the effects of such satanic power after such men have outlived their usefulness as Antichrist candidates, and we can also see what type of man the Antichrist will be just three short years following his revelation. All of history’s dictators combine to give us a glimpse of who that man might be. The question then is this: who’s in line to the throne today? I’ve got some ideas that I won’t share, but I find it would be an interesting study. How many “crazy right wing” books have been published over the years by those who are certain they know the identity of the Antichrist? Were they wrong? Or were they simply catching glimpses of Satan’s lineup card? It would be an interesting study through history, the enigmatic turned ferocious. It would be an interesting book.
Second is an idea about The United States and the End Times that is so optimistic that I can’t see why all American Christians don’t carry it as their banner. I actually don’t recall where Rosenberg discusses particular issue—perhaps in Part Five, Dead Heat—but now seems as good a time as any to discuss it. The theory goes something like this: since the U.S. is not considered relevant in End Times prophesies, what’s her fate? There are really only three possibilities: 1) we’re destroyed by either natural or military devastation; 2) we’re weakened in our economy and military to the point that other nations overshadow us and we simply become a non-issue; or 3) we experience a Revival so profound that it touches every level of society from top to bottom, so that when the Rapture comes, Christ takes such a massive portion of our nation that or infrastructure collapses and in a moment, in the blink of an eye, the United States ceases to be. Now I’m certain which of these options has my vote. How about you?
The Copper Scroll is an exciting read, a treasure hunt that promises to allow the Jews to begin building their third temple. But Rosenberg is certain to acknowledge what the best hidden treasure in the world could be, the love of God shed in our hearts the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus. The Good News is clear in the close of this book, and I recommend seriously to everyone.