The End of Days/End Times
Encore Presentation: Honest Questions about the End of Days
Aired April 27, 2007 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECK (voice-over): Is the apocalypse almost upon us?
REV. PAT ROBERTSON, "700 CLUB": The Bible does indicate such a time will happen in the end of time, and could this be it? It might be.
BECK: Are the cataclysmic events of 9/11, Katrina, tsunami, famine and the threat of global pandemic signs we`re living in the end times?
One world government, one world economy, one world vision. Are we creeping even closer to the Book of Revelations` countdown to doomsday? And does an age-old prophecy foretell a Russian-Iranian alliance against Israel as well as a nuclear showdown? Apocalypse now?
We`ll search for answers with Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the authors of the wildly successful "Left Behind" series and acclaimed author Joel Rosenberg.
Tonight, honest questions about the end of days for the full hour.
BECK: Hello, and welcome. This is a show that I`ve wanted to do for a while, but quite honestly, what stops me from doing it is people think I`m nuts.
I don`t know if it`s the end of days. I will tell you from what I know, there`s -- there`s a lot of things happening in the world that sure look awfully familiar.
We have just distinguished guests with us on the set today and Joel Rosenberg, I want to start with you. Joel, let`s start with Iran. Iran is a spooky, spooky county that has real plans that go beyond just kicking the United States out of the area.
JOEL ROSENBERG, AUTHOR, "EPICENTER": Well, that`s right, and what`s interesting is that people, for years, have been saying that evangelical Christians who talk about the Book of Revelation or the last days are sort of the weird and spooky ones.
What`s interesting now in the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you have a radical Shiite Muslim who is telling people publicly that he believes the end of the world is imminent and that the way to hasten the coming of the Islamic messiah, known as the 12th imam or the Mahdi, is to wipe Israel off the map -- that`s the little Satan -- and to wipe the United States off the map. That`s the great Satan.
That`s apocalyptic language, not from a couple of novel writers but from a guy who`s feverishly pursuing nuclear weapons.
BECK: Sir, did you -- are you at all surprised at how little this is getting paid attention to in the mainstream press? I mean, when Ahmadinejad came to the United Nations, he prayed for the return of the messiah to be hastened and for him to be brave enough to play the role to hasten that return. And nobody talked about it.
JERRY JENKINS, CO-AUTHOR, "LEFT BEHIND" SERIES: It`s amazing. We get labeled as crackpots because we -- of course, we base our fiction on scripture and our view of the prophecies. But when somebody who`s really in a position of power says something like this, it seems to get ignored.
BECK: Yes. Tim, Gog and Magog. This is where your knowledge come into play here. And honestly, a lot of people say, "Gog and Magog, what is that?" What is Gog and Magog, scripturally, first?
TIM LAHAYE, CO-AUTHOR, "LEFT BEHIND" SERIES: Actually, that comes from Ezekiel 38 and 39, two of the most awesome passage descriptions that have to do with future prophecy. And it delineates them. In fact, it names the countries, and interestingly enough, it looks like a geographical map today.
The named countries are the neighbors of Israel and all the enemies of Israel. And they have one obsessive compulsion, and that is to eliminate Israel, to drive them into the sea or wipe them out, as Iran says.
But also, Russia, they`re right, the main players in this, the most specific latter times, end of days prophecy you`ll find anywhere in the Bible.
BECK: You know, we were -- we`ve started something that I`m starting, thank goodness I`m starting to see on other networks, what we call "Missed by the Media", where we are actively searching for the things that these guys are saying in their own country and on their own mass broadcast centers that nobody over here was picking up. And we`re -- we`re watching them, seeing the translations and playing them.
I want to play one here in a second that just came from the ayatollah in regards to this. But first, let me go to Joel. Be specific, Gog and Magog.
BECK: Who are they?
ROSENBERG: Well, Gog is not a name. We`re not talking about Fred Gog or Dmitri Gog. This is a title, like a pharaoh or a czar. He`s a political meter (ph). He`s a tyrant. He`s described in Ezekiel Chapter 38 as having an evil plan.
He`s in charge of a territory called Magog. When you go and do the historical detective work and discover what does that mean in modern territory, you find that it`s Russia. I document that in the book "Epicenter". Doctor LaHaye has written about it extensively. And Tim and Jerry wrote about it in their first novel, "Left Behind".
So you`ve got Russia and a Russian dictator. The next country that they`re allied with is Persia. Well, until 1935, Persia was the official legal name of Iran.
So you have a Russian-Iranian alliance with another group of Middle Eastern countries, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, a group of others, Sudan. But what`s fascinating is, in the 2,500 years since Ezekiel wrote that prophecy, Russia and Iran have never had a military alliance, until now.
ROSENBERG: And that`s what`s so intriguing. And it`s got people`s heads turning.
BECK: We know anybody whose watching the news of the day with the United Nations, Russia`s standing in our way every step of the way. We know that they are instrumental in arming Iran and helping build the nuclear power plant, et cetera, et cetera.
Some people are calling the people that are working building the nuclear power plant Russian human shields because, if we attack, there are Russians that are there.
I want to show you this piece of video that we got from Iran. This is "Missed by the Media". It is the ayatollah. Read the translation at the bottom of the screen on what he is talking about. He`s talking to not only his people; he`s talking right directly to the Russian people. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AYATOLLAH KHAMEINI, IRANIAN RELIGIOUS LEADER: (speaking foreign language)
GRAPHIC: If the Russians are at all smart, they should help us, because they know that the Americans are in a conflict with them, and that the Americans dealt them the most severe blow, which led to the collapse of the USSR.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Tim, you have been studying Bible prophecy for 50 years. Did you, when you first started 50 years ago, think that you would see it in your lifetime? And how convinced are you that this is it?
LAHAYE: Well, you`re right. I`ve been teaching this for 50 years, studying it longer than that, and the incredible thing is, we`ve seen so many prophecies fulfilled that are specific.
And that`s what shows the supernatural in the Bible, is the fact that God foretells the future. That`s a prophecy. It`s history written in advance. You have to have divine intelligence in order to write history as a scenario.
And that`s what many of the prophecy -- in fact, there are 1,000 passages in the Bible that were prophetic at the time they were written, and 500 of them have already been fulfilled. And we can look at those and say those are fulfilled literally.
That`s why when talk show hosts ask me the question, why do you take prophecy literally, because it`s already been fulfilled literally. That`s how we know it`s supernatural.
BECK: There are a couple of things. Joel, help me out. McCain said on "Meet the Press" recently that we may be facing Armageddon. Bring me up to speed on exactly what that language was.
ROSENBERG: Well, Senator McCain was on "Meet the Press". He said to Tim Russert, if Iran gets nuclear weapon, quote, "I think we could see Armageddon," unquote.
Now, Senator McCain is known for a lot of things, being a war hero, straight talk, independent thinker. He`s not really known for going on national television and citing the Book of Revelation in terms of a Middle East foreign policy crisis.
You`ve got Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, possibly a presidential contender along with McCain, saying that we`re in the early stages of World War III.
Shimon Peres, the advice vice pre-premier of Israel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, said to Ahmadinejad the president of Iran is the personification of Satan. This is apocalyptic rhetoric, not from LaHaye, Jenkins, Rosenberg, but from leaders of the world who are really worried this is getting out of control now.
BECK: Jerry, there`s -- and they`re little things that, unless you`re keyed in, you don`t know what`s happening. Condi Rice said that we were seeing birth pangs in the -- in the Middle East. Where does that come from? What is the significance of that language?
JENKINS: Well, there`s clearly messages that I think people are trying -- you know, people are trying to give to people who support this view. I mean, if you study scripture and realize we`re supposed to look for the imminent return of Christ, you know.
Some of us like to believe it could be a thousands from now, because in God`s economy, a time of days is a thousand years. And I personally wish God would wait one more day so more people could come across before the end of time. And yet, as you look around, it`s hard to argue. And Dr. LaHaye says all the time that this could happen in our lifetime. And it very well could.
BECK: You`re 80. You`re going to be drinking -- you`re going to be sipping back margaritas upstairs while we`re dealing with this mess.
Back in a second. More about the end of days in a minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God will come to take his people home. No one knows the day or the hour. Without any warning, all infants, children and many people will disappear. Terror and confusion reign the world over. For those left behind, the apocalypse has just begun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you looking at?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: That is a clip from the hit TV show, "Jericho". Scary stuff, packaged as entertainment.
The end of the world is anything but entertainment to the people I have at the table with me, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, authors of the popular "Left Behind" books and from Washington, author Joel Rosenberg.
Let me start with -- with Tim and Jerry. Playing on fears or a good thing?
JENKINS: Well, we get asked that question a lot. Is it fair to use fear to get somebody to agree with your side? And I always say, I think fear is not a bad motivator if there`s something to be afraid of.
My wife and I raised three sons, and I scared them out of playing in the street. I scared them out of playing near the charcoal grill. I scared them out of using tools on the electrical outlets in the house because there was something to be afraid of.
And our feeling is we want people to be ready to go when the end comes. And they don`t have to agree. They can scoff and laugh. But the fact is, if it`s scary, it`s because there`s something to be scared of.
BECK: I think there`s a difference between "Jericho", and I like "Jericho". You know, we watch it from time to time. There`s a difference between that and, let`s say, your books, because your books are entertainment. But it is very, very clear that this is the message, and I`m trying to -- the secret is in the footnotes.
You know, here`s where you can find the actual information where shows like "Jericho" to me are just a reflection of the collective gut. Wouldn`t we have an alarm in us that would say, "Gang, something bad is about to come"?
LAHAYE: We think that`s one of the things that has made these books resonate with the people, because they`ve had this general of how the end of the age will come about. And what we`ve done is written it into fiction and yet, it`s based on the Bible.
I learned something from the author of "Roots". Years ago, he called his fiction "faction". Well, what we`re doing is we`re putting prophecy in through the vehicle of fiction. And it grabs the minds of people and has driven many people back to the Book of Revelation and other books in the Bible to read, and then they`re surprised: "Oh, it really says that."
BECK: Joel, have you always been a guy who has been on this track? I mean, you used to be -- you worked for Benjamin Netanyahu, if I`m not mistaken.
BECK: What -- what was it that started bringing your alarms?
ROSENBERG: Well, I sort of lived a little schizophrenic life, because professionally, I`ve been working for former Israeli prime ministers and deputy prime ministers, American political leaders.
But personally, I`m an evangelical Christian from an orthodox Jewish heritage. My family actually escaped out of Russia around 1907 when the czar was trying to wipe out of the all the Jews.
So personally I have had a fascination with what do the Bible prophecies say about the coming of Jesus. And where does Russia fit in? Where does Israel fit in? Where does Iran and these Middle Eastern countries fit in?
I met Dr. LaHaye in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union was collapsing. My wife worked with his wife. And we started chatting about these things. But he gave me this book, the coming peace in the Middle East. I think it`s out of print now.
But it walks through the Ezekiel 38 scenario, this war of Gog and Magog, where Russia and Iran team up to try to attack Israel. And honestly, at the time I thought, you know, I don`t see Russia ever being a threat to Israel. It`s collapsing. A million Jews are pouring out.
But then I`m on a flight from Washington to New York City in the year 2000. And I`m with Nat Karanski, the former Israeli deputy prime minister, and he tells me about a secret meeting he had with Vladimir Putin talking to him about his prime minister`s concerns about giving Russia might give nuclear technology and weaponry to Iran?
BECK: Bill, you were having a conversation the other day in my radio studio. And I said, I remember being a kid and hearing about, you know, Bible prophecy. And there was so much stuff that had to happen. There was no way any of it could happen.
And one of the things I didn`t understand was how good could be bad and bad could be good. And we`re living in it right now. You watch -- you watch what`s being sold to us on television and in movies and everywhere, and there is -- bad doesn`t understand good and good doesn`t understand bad.
LAHAYE: That`s one of the very prophecies of the end times when the blur would be made between good and evil, and people would be saying good was evil and evil was good.
BECK: You have it now. On this program, for the last week or so, I`ve asked the guests that have been on with me to talk about Iran. Will you call the government of Iran evil?
LAHAYE: I will.
BECK: Thank you. You guys are the first. You`re the first guests that I`ve had on. They don`t call them criminal. They`ll say, well, they`re not good.
But here they are. They`re slicing tongues out, but they`re doing it like filets. They`re cutting them this way to cause more pain. How does that -- how does that fall into anything but evil?
LAHAYE: It`s political correctness. They`re so careful not to say anything against someone they oppose, but the truth is, we`ve got to face the fact that they do not hold to the same views we do. They`re terrorists. They`re motivated to kill other people. Not to help them and rescue them.
BECK: Jerry, how do you -- how do you go from -- I mean, we had Elton John, in a church. They took the pews out. Here`s a guy who says churches lead to -- lead people to be bigots and hate-mongers. Took the pews out, set up a stage. He performed there.
The next day, he performs at Madison Square Garden. Behind him is a giant scene of a church burning. It is -- it is a hate crime if anyone would do that to anything else, but a church burning, seen wrapped in entertainment, is fine.
How do you survive when the culture is going in that direction?
JENKINS: Well, it`s a wake-up call. And you look at things like this, and it makes no sense. You try to make it to compute. And you`re right. The prophecy about good becoming evil and evil becoming good is coming true.
There are so many other prophecies that seemed impossible for so long. When I was writing about the middle of the tribulation after the return of Christ, when the two witnesses were preaching at the wall in Jerusalem, it says when they`re killed and raised into heaven, that the whole world sees this at the same time.
BECK: OK. Hang on. I want to get to the rest of this here in a second. I have to take a break. We`ll be back in a minute.
BECK: We are having a conversation for a full hour tonight about the end of days. It might sound nuts, but I encourage you to listen and, at the end of the hour, judge for yourself. Is this nuts, or is it possible that this is happening?
We have the two authors of the "Left Behind" series. We also have the author of "Epicenter".
And we were talking, Jerry, before we took a break. You said, when you first started this, there`s prophecy where you got the two guys preaching there in Jerusalem and continue the story.
JENKINS: Dr. LaHaye wanted me to dramatize when the witnesses are murdered and then they`re lifted into heaven. And the prophecy says that it`s going to be seen by the whole world.
Well, when I heard this as a kid, I thought, well, then, the rapture can`t be too soon because we don`t have any technology -- not everybody can see them at the same time. Well, we`re sitting here on cable network news.
JENKINS: And the Internet is there. If something like that happened, it could happen today. It could be seen by the entire world at the same time.
BECK: It`s amazing. I remember watching Tiananmen Square. And that`s what came to me in Tiananmen Square. What an amazing planet we`re living on right now. We`re seeing this man stop that tank in Tiananmen Square live as it happens.
LAHAYE: Glenn, there are many motor prophecies in the Bible that, in your father`s generation, couldn`t have happened, but they can happen today. We`re on the cutting edge.
BECK: For instance?
LAHAYE: Well, people running to and fro in knowledge. In fact, this is one of my favorites. In Daniel 12, he talks about in the last days -- he specifies when it will be -- the people will be running to and fro on the earth and knowledge will be increased.
You talk about evidence of the supernatural in the Bible, how in the world did that prophet, 2,500 years ago, link up knowledge and travel? And yet, that`s exactly what we have. Because of the increase in knowledge, there has been an increase in the speed of travel. And people are running everywhere in the world.
And 125 years ago, horseback was the fastest mode of travel. And in just these last 100 or so years, we`ve had an increase until today, what, 24,000 miles an hour in a rocket ship?
BECK: I`m increasingly impressed, and Joel, maybe can you address this. The technology that we have today, everybody thinks, oh, the world has always been this way. And everything`s going to be OK. America`s going to be OK, because it always has been.
No, it hasn`t always been this way. America is an anomaly. What`s happening right now has never really happened before, good and bad. And if Hitler would have had the technology that we have now, things would have played out a lot differently.
BECK: Joel, the things like EZ Pass. Imagine what Hitler could have done with EZ Pass?
ROSENBERG: The Book of Revelation, the apostle John, envisions a world as God, I think prophecy is an intercept from the mind of God. And the apostle John envisions a one-world economic system and everybody having a mark on their right hand or on their forehead that allows hem to buy and sell goods and services.
Well, we now have the technology, both with credit cards and EZ Pass systems. You don`t really have to stop at a toll booth. You just -- your car is actually swiping through just like an ATM card swipes through. And there -- scientists are actually testing now these types of chips, because if you lose all of your -- you lose your wallet, you lose everything now.
ROSENBERG: And why not just embed things?
BECK: I remember in the late 1990s, Madeleine Albright -- I believe it was Madeleine Albright -- went and saw an RFID chip that you could use for finance where you could go into a store, just grab what you want and walk out, and you`d be checked out automatically.
More in just a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Is the apocalypse almost upon us?
PAT ROBERTSON, CHRISTIAN BROADCASTER: The Bible does indicate such a time will happen in the end of time. And could this be it? It might be.
BECK: Are the world`s tremors and terror signs signs of the end times? Apocalypse now? Searching for answers with Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, authors of the wildly successful "Left Behind" series, and acclaimed author Joel Rosenberg.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: All right, welcome back.
Economic, diplomatic ties between Russia and Iran are well-documented, but nobody`s paying attention to that. Nobody`s paying attention to what the Bible says. And nobody is even paying attention to what these guys are saying in their own countries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): The whole world knows that America and England are the enemies of the Iranian nation. Death to those who oppose the rule of the jurisprudent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: You know what kills me? Every time I see the Iranian leader is, I mean, could they get a guy who looks any more like Satan? It`s amazing to me. And then they put him in the members only jacket, like, OK, don`t worry about it. Everything`s fine. Look, he dresses like you do, if we`re all living in 1974.
Let me take you to...
ROSENBERG: `79, actually.
BECK: It`s 1979? Thank you, Joel.
Let me take you to what Osama bin Laden said and what the members only jacket member said, and that is that they both want Ancient Babylon in Iraq. They say the world war is going to happen, it`s based in Iraq. That is the center of the battle, because both of them believe that the 13th Imam, or is it the 12th imam, 12th imam, is coming back and is going to march right back to Ancient Babylon and start up the one-world government.
When I heard that -- because I`ve read every one of the "Left Behind" books -- the hair just went up on the back of my head, and I`m like, "Oh, that`s not good!" How convinced are you that this group of people, these crazies, are leading us right to what you guys, what all three of you have written about?
LAHAYE: The whole thing looks at deception. Satan has blinded their eyes, and here are millions of those people that have their eyes blinded.
But what`s important for us is that God has given us an outline, a program, what`s going on happen. And we`re seeing it unfold in our very time. And the world is getting more and more ready to the idea that, oh, if we just had one world government, if we just had one world leader, and everyone knows the anti-Christ is going to someday be that one world leader.
Of course, the good news is -- and there`s got to be some good news in this -- is that Jesus Christ is going to come and rapture all of his believers out of this world before that takes place. That`s one of the reasons I believe that America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy.
BECK: I just want to point out, if I disappear in the middle of this, don`t -- well, you should panic. Just know I`ll be happy.
LAHAYE: If we`re left behind, we`ll really in trouble.
BECK: Wouldn`t that be -- that would be big, though, for ratings, wouldn`t it? If I disappeared and you guys stayed.
Joel, let me go to Ahmadinejad specifically and Iran. People are watching this, they`re seeing it. And I know there`s a ton of people that are watching at home and saying, "Come on, guys, people have been saying this for years." What makes you believe this could be it?
ROSENBERG: Well, it`s because of the things that the Bible says that people for years -- yes, believers believed it, but masses of people didn`t, for example, Russia and Iran forming an alliance.
Russia occupied Iran in the 18th century and 19th century. It occupied it up until 1946, the northern parts of Iran. Until the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, Iran was our ally with the shah and was an ally of Israel. And when the ayatollah took over in 1979, he hated the Russians, because they were godless atheists.
So the idea of a Russian-Iranian alliance is described in the Bible, but skeptics for centuries said, that`s one of the examples that the Bible has no idea what it`s talking about.
Another example, Israel, you know, for centuries, even Christian theologians, many over the century, have said, well, Israel must not really be coming back as a country someday, because 500 years went by, 1,000 years, 1,5000 years. So people started calling replacement theology, that when you see Israel mentioned in the Bible, it really must mean the church, because for 1948 years, there was no Israel, and then she was reborn.
And so those of us who take the Bible literally point to things like the rebirth of Israel as the super sign, one of these evidences that things like the Russian-Iranian alliance and the rise of Babylon and these other issues, may not be understood by people today, or even scoffed at, but these prophecies do come true. And Israel is the chief example.
BECK: Jerry, I had Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in that chair with me for an hour, and we talked, and I said, "You`re being set up. I can see it plain as day." And scripture reading will actually help you see things plain as day. I said, "You`re being set up. The whole world is going to blame it on you," because Israel, most likely, will make the move against Iran, because the rest of the world is sitting on their hands. And they`re the ones that know they will be destroyed. And when you do it, there will be a cry out that, oh, my gosh, we were so close to peace, and then Israel had to go and do this.
JENKINS: Just like we hear Israel`s at fault. I mean, that`s what people will say. And, you know, the idea -- if Israel came back as a nation in 1948, if Babylon returns to power eventually, my hope that God is waiting one more day or a 1,000 years will be dashed, because, if Babylon comes back, all the prophecies are being fulfilled immediately. I mean, Babylon is to be the center of the one-world government. When we put it in our...
BECK: OK, wait a minute. Let`s put this in order. Does Babylon -- anybody who doesn`t know what we`re talking about -- Babylon is Iraq. Ancient Babylon -- in fact, Saddam Hussein, was rebuilding Ancient Babylon brick by brick. And if I`m not mistaken, his name is now on each brick that says, "I am Saddam Hussein," what is it, "ruler of Babylon, from sea to sea," or something like that?
LAHAYE: He had compared himself to Nebuchadnezzar.
BECK: Correct. And so this is in Iraq, Osama bin Laden, the ayatollah, they want Ancient Babylon. When is that supposed to happen? When is that domino supposed to fall? Go ahead.
LAHAYE: This is going to take place during the tribulation. After the rapture, then the world goes through seven years tribulation, and the anti-Christ will rise during that time, and he will gain control and rule the world from Babylon.
BECK: So give me time line. Do these things happen in time lines? What should we be watching for?
LAHAYE: Well, first of all, we should be watching for the rapture. We should be looking for Jesus -- the Bible is very clear, that`s the purpose of prophecy. They get us anticipating his coming, because when he comes and all the Christians are gone -- and, Glenn, can you imagine what this world will be like with 2 billion missing people, that are all snatched up at one time, and because of their mutual faith in Jesus Christ and his resurrection?
Well, when that takes place, then this manna sin (ph) rises up, and later he`s called the anti-Christ. And he requires the mark of the beast and the chip that you talked about earlier. And then during that period, he rules as an absolute dictator, just like Nebuchadnezzar, who was the most autocratic dictator in the history ruler of the world. And then that only lasts for 3 1/2 years. Then you have Armageddon, and then Christ comes and sets up his kingdom for 1,000 years.
BECK: Joel, let me go to you on -- you know, one of the reasons why I`m spooked by global warming is I think this is a game from the United Nations. This is a money game by the United Nations. They`re looking to raise taxes. They want a global carbon tax. Jacques Chirac has said the Kyoto treaty -- and I`m pretty close to quoting him here -- is the first real step toward one world government. This is real stuff.
ROSENBERG: Well, there`s no question that the trend lines are leading towards the U.N. system, and which more and more power gets vested into the United Nations, and global warming is an element of that. You know, interestingly enough, Jerry and Tim have written about, in the book of Revelation, the sun actually ends up burning a third, I think, of the grass on the planet, so there is global warming at some point in scripture. Whether we`re that close, that`s for scientists. I couldn`t tell you. But when you look at these things...
BECK: Joel, just so you know, there`s a consensus from scientists. There`s no scientist that disagrees anywhere to be found.
BECK: And if you say anything, we`ll discredit you right now.
ROSENBERG: Well, if these trend lines -- it`s the U.N. trying to amass power to itself, and even have a standing army, and ability to tax. And it`s the fact I sat with the Iraqi finance minister, the chief economic adviser to the prime minister of Iraq, who taught me -- who spoke to me on the record for "Epicenter" about his plans to rebuild the city of Babylon.
It`s about how Jews in Israel right now already have architectural plans that they`re working on to rebuild a third Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The Russian-Iranian lines, it`s these signs that make us say, hey, we don`t know if the rapture is today or tomorrow or next week, but these trend lines suggest we`ve got to be a lot closer than ever historically, because these are the exact events that most scoffers over centuries said, "That will never happen."
BECK: It is just amazing. I was in Israel a few years ago, and I walked down one of these little crooked streets, and I saw the plans to rebuild the temple.
More in just a second.
BECK: We`re back with the authors of the best-selling "Left Behind" series, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins. Also joining us from Washington, D.C., is the "New York Times" best-selling author, "Epicenter," Joel Rosenberg.
Let me start with an honest question. And I`ll start. I`m a guy who avoids a lot of things, thinking about a lot of things, because I don`t want to be that guy. I don`t want to be that guy who believes -- you know, who`s just so strong Second Amendment. I have been -- you know, I back off at times in my life, and then I go, like, OK, it`s really important, I really got to do my homework, and know what I believe, and then I`m that guy.
Honestly, there is nothing more that I don`t want to believe and I don`t want to spout than this kind of stuff, that we may be living in the end times, because people think you`re nuts. There are times I think I`m nuts, or at least in the beginning of this journey. And I know what it means for my family and my children.
Did anybody hear, when you started going through this and you really started really doing honest research, and no matter what the answer was, you turned over the stone, did anybody say, "I feel nuts; I don`t want to be that guy"?
JENKINS: There are people who want you to feel nuts. And I can...
BECK: That wasn`t the question.
JENKINS: I know. And when we first started this, we went at it with such a sense of sincerity and pure motive. I mean, my feeling -- and I was informed in this, too, by Dr. LaHaye`s attitude -- would care about people. We really believe this.
We realize it`s a divisive message, especially in a pluralistic society, and that there would be people who disagree and say, you know, you`re seeing Jesus is the only way to God, and that he`s going come back and rescue people out of the Earth. And so they`re saying we`re crazy.
And then they try to go further and say, it`s spiteful, condescending, or kind of hateful to other people. I often use this illustration, but if I had a neighbor who truly believed that if I didn`t wear a purple necklace, I would never get to Heaven, I would go to Hell, I would probably think he`s crazy. I would scoff and laugh. But if he didn`t tell me, I`d be a little offended.
And so my feeling is, people can laugh and scoff and disagree, and that`s their right. And, you know, honor that right. We live in a society where we`re free to compete in the marketplace of ideas. This is our idea. People are wondering what these crazy Christians think is going to happen? This is what we think.
BECK: Dr. LaHaye, there would be people that would say, this is nuts. First of all, everybody has said this since the beginning of time. I mean, the apostles even thought that, you know, hey, Jesus, let me hang around for a while until you come back. Even the apostles said it was going to happen right away. And then on top of that is the idea a lot of people have, why would God do that? Why would he destroy everything?
LAHAYE: Well, because he`s trying to get people ready for the eternal order that his son died to make it possible for people to get into. But one of the things that, in answer to your first question, when I first started this, I was afraid that people would come to this conclusion and think we`re crazy and then, after they read it, then they knew we were crazy.
But what we did is we showed them, through the prophetic history, so many prophecies have been fulfilled and so many of them have been fulfilled in our lifetime. Like, I can remember -- you can`t probably -- but I can remember when Israel became a nation. And that, as Joel said earlier, is a super sign.
Well, there have been a number of other signs, and they`re getting closer, and closer, and closer together. And just the other day, I read where a scientist -- here I`ve come to the conclusion that the world cannot last, prophetically, more than 25 to 50 years. We can`t set a day or an hour; we`re forbidden from that.
But just the other day, I read where a scientist has come to the conclusion that he and some of his fellow scientists see no hope for this world from destroying itself off the planet in 25 to 50 years.
BECK: Again, though, people have been saying that. But what you`re saying is -- and we touched on this earlier -- Condi Rice said, she used the, I think, code language, bible code language, on we`re seeing birth pangs in the Middle East. What that implies is, there are these -- you said it -- there`s a super sign with Israel, that there are these strong birth pangs, and then they get closer and closer, just like giving birth.
BECK: And it`s really accelerating, isn`t it, Joel?
ROSENBERG: Well, it is. And I have to say that, because I`m not a theologian like Dr. LaHaye is, I was very reticent to write these novels, the "Last Jihad" series, and now this nonfiction book, "Epicenter," because I come from a political world. And in Washington, you got to be -- I mean, this is nuts to talk about this stuff.
But it`s my political experience, working for the these various world leaders, where I`ve been able to see how much is really happening in the world that corresponds with what I`ve always studied in scripture. And that`s what made me think, you know what? This thing is accelerating so quickly that I think I do need to start writing about this stuff.
And what`s fascinating to me, since I have, I`ve been invited to the CIA, invited to the Pentagon, to the White House, to speak to people on Capitol Hill, and in countries all over the world -- privately, it`s almost, you know, off the record, we want to sit and ask you, Joel, do you really believe that Iraq is going to rise as the most wealthy and powerful country on the face of the planet?
A senior adviser to the prime minister of Iraq had breakfast with me in Washington to ask me that question. Why? Because he, among others, are seeing events so dramatic that they can`t be explained in the normal geopolitical system. If you just look at the world through political lenses or economic lenses, you`re not seeing in three dimensions. You actually have to start looking through what I call the third lens of scripture, and then things get really intriguing.
BECK: This is why -- and I`m sorry, I think it`s at the beginning of Ezekiel 34, or is it 35, where it says, "There will be watchmen, and I will appoint a watchman." Is it 34?
BECK: Yes, right at the beginning. That`s us, isn`t it? I mean, that`s the people who -- anybody who`s watching this and going, "I believe. You know what? I got to start reading up, and find out what`s going on in the world, and find out all the events, and then tie it in." That`s who you are.
If you are one of these people that are at all connecting with it, you`ve got to read Ezekiel 34, because it has quite a promise and quite a - - it`s a commandment. It`s got a promise and a warning. And if you don`t stand up and say something, you`re in trouble.
We have to take a break. We`ll be right back in just a second.
BECK: OK, I`m going to put you guys on the spot, as we talk about the end times. Authors of "Epicenter" and "Left Behind" with me. Yes or no first, are we going to see it in our lifetime, end of times, yes or no?
LAHAYE: Probably, in your lifetime, maybe not in mine.
ROSENBERG: I think so.
BECK: Joel says, yes.
LAHAYE: Very close.
BECK: Yes or no?
BECK: No, OK. What is the one thing that we`ve missed, in 30 seconds, each of you -- Joel, I`m going to start with you. What is the one thing that you say people have got to hear?
ROSENBERG: Well, the Jewish person that Jesus is, in fact, the messiah. More Jews are, in fact, coming to know Jesus as the messiah today than at any other point in history, and that`s what the New Testament and even the Old Testament says, there`s going to be a revival among the Jewish people.
Muslims are also coming to Christ in record numbers, over a million Muslims in Iran alone in the last 15 years. Something is going on in the Middle East, good news behind the headlines.
BECK: "New York Times" is going to call that the most divisive 30 seconds ever done on television.
ROSENBERG: Well, amen.
BECK: Dr. LaHaye?
LAHAYE: Well, Joel is right. And not only in those two countries, but all over the world. In China, it`s incredible the growth of Christianity.
But what I`d like to point out is, the Bible is not a book of fiction or even history. The Bible is God`s road map to the future. And he wants you and I to get ready. Every person within the sound of our voice, he wants to come to personal faith in Jesus so they`ll be ready.
BECK: It is really amazing, because I really, truly believe that it is the instruction manual, because, just like every instruction manual I`ve ever received, I don`t want to read it. You know what I mean? And I think that`s the way most people are. I`ve got to force myself every night -- all right, I`m going to read scripture.
ROSENBERG: I`ll do it myself.
BECK: Yes. Last, final thought, what have we missed?
JENKINS: I think that people need to realize that this is a message of love, and not hate, and not division. We`re trying to get people to be ready. And I realize -- and as I said before, I realize why it sounds divisive. But we come at this with a pure motive.
And I need to explain to you the reason I say no in my lifetime. In one way, that`s just my hope, because I want to see more people ready. And I think God, in his mercy, that`s one of his great characteristics is love and mercy, he waits one more day in our economy of time, that would be 1,000 years. I don`t think it`s going to be 1,000 years, and it very well could be our lifetime. We`re told to watch for the imminent return of Christ, so it could be today.
BECK: Guys, thank you so much. Appreciate it. Really have enjoyed your series, "Left Behind." Joel, as you know, "Epicenter." I believe we`ve spoken from my bedroom at night when I`ve called you up and said, "I don`t understand this." Just a tremendous, tremendous book. Thank you so much.
ROSENBERG: Thank you, Glenn. God bless you.
BECK: Bye. We`ll see you again, unless we disappear. Then you`re in trouble. Good night from New York.