D.C., JULY 27, 2006) — The following is a transcript from yesterday’s
segment entitled "Apocalypse Now?" on CNN’s "Live
From…" with anchor Kyra Phillips:
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN: So dig this. A man was bulldozing a bog in central Ireland the
other day when he noticed something unusual in the freshly turned soil. It
turns out he’d unearthed an early medieval treasure, an ancient Book of
Psalms that experts date to the years 800 to 1000. Experts say it will take
years to document and preserve this book, but eventually it will go on
public display. Now here’s the kicker: the book — about 20 pages of Latin
script — was allegedly found opened to Psalm 83. Now, if you’re a scholar,
as you know [in] Psalm 83 God hears complaints that other nations plotting
to wipe out teh name of Israel. Well
that’s precisely the kind of news nuggest that would get the attention of
my next guests — a seemingly random event with an eerie coincidence to
reality. Jerry Jenkins is in New York. Now
along with Tim LaHaye, he co-authored the widely popular LEFT BEHIND
series, only 63 million copies sold, by the way. Also joining me is Joel
Rosenberg in Washington. He is the
author of THE COPPER SCROLL, the latest of several apocalyptic novels. So,
gentlemen, from books to blogs to the back pews, the buzz is all about the
End Times. What do you think about the Book of Psalms. Is this going to be
the next thing that both of you are going to write about?
JERRY JENKINS: That’s an amazing news story. I hadn’t heard it.
PHILLIPS: Really? OK, this is news to you, then.
JENKINS: It’s some ways it’s not terribly surprising. I think God finds
ways of speaking to us and He does that through His Word. That’s an
incredible story, and it would probably have to be told in fiction form
because people are going to find it hard to believe.
PHILLIPS: Well, Jerry, you’ve sold 63 million-plus books about the End
Times. Why do think they have been so successful, and why did you decide to
go that route? Why did you want to write about it?
JENKINS: Well, the idea for fiction about the End Times was really Dr. LaHaye’s.
He’s a prophecy scholar and theologian. He’s been studying this stuff
longer than I’ve been alive. But he just had the idea that after writing
several non-fiction books about the subject that if we could put it in a
fiction format that more people would find it accessible and understandable
and that’s proven true. And because of the end of the millennium, and
because of 9/11, and because of what’s going on in the Middle East right
now, people are scared to death about the future and I think they hear
about books that are based on the prophecies of Scripture and it just
intrigues them and makes them want to find out what we think.
PHILLIPS: So, Joel, are we living in the last days? I mean, let’s talk
about the specific signs to watch. You’ve written about them. What does the
Bible say, and are we there?
JOEL ROSENBERG: People are very interested, I agree. Tim and Jerry’s books
deal with the Rapture, the disappearance of the Church and the events going
forward through the Book of Revelation. My series — The Ezekiel Option,
The Copper Scroll — deal with events that could lead up the Rapture and
the return of Christ. Yes, people are interested because the rebirth of Israel, the
fact that Jews are living in the Holy Land today,
that is a Bible prophecy. When Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Russia begin
to form an alliance against Israel those
are the prophecies from Ezekiel 38 and 39, and that’s what I’m basing my
novels on. I’ve been invited to the White House, Capitol Hill, by Members
of Congress, Israelis, Arab leaders — all want to understand the Middle
East through the lens of Biblical prophecies. I’m writing
these novels that keep seeming to come true, but we’re seeing Bible
prophecy bit by bit unfold in the Middle East right
PHILLIPS: And you talk about epic battles for Jerusalem. Get
specific with us. Tells us what is happening now that totally correlates
with what you’ve written about Biblically.
ROSENBERG: Well, that’s right, Ezekiel 36
and 37 — those are chapters in the Bible, in the Old Testament, that are
about the rebirth of the State of Israel and Jerusalem coming
back under Jewish control. We’ve seen those prophecies happen. Ezekiel 38
and 39 — what my novel The Ezekiel Option is about — is an alliance of
Islamic countries to destroy Israel and
liberate Jerusalem. Are we seeing that beginning
to come true? That’s the big question. Then Ezekiel 40 through 48 is about
the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Now,
if that happens in our lifetime, that alone could unleash the wrath of a
billion Muslims worldwide. That’s what The Copper Scroll is about. Hunting
for treasure. Hunting for ancient documents. And the series of events that
could lead to the building of the Jewish Temple and an apocalyptic war in
the Middle East.
PHILLIPS: All right, now Jerry, you know, there’sa number people who would
sit back and say, "You know, that Jerry and that Joel, they are crazy.
How can you take this book that’s more than 1,000 years old, these are just
stories, you can’t relate it to what’s happening right now." What do
say to those critics?
JENKINS: I think that’s the uniqueness of how we treat the Scripture. So
many people try to interpret Revelation symbolically or figuratively and
they can interpret it in a couple of hundred different ways. Dr. LaHaye’s
view has always been, let’s take literally what we can take literally, and
tell it as if John the Revelator [author of the Book of Revelation] meant
what he said when he said, "I looked and I saw…." Unless he’s
making some comparison, let’s just tell it as a literal story. It’s really
made it come to life for people and opened it [Revelation] up to make it
understandable. It has for me as a writer. All the prophecies of the Old
Testament about the coming of Christ as a baby were fulfilled literally. So
we’re saying, what if all the prophecies of the New Testament about Jesus
coming back and Rapturing His Church are also literal? We should treat them
that way and just see what it looks like.
PHILLIPS: Joel, you also write about the Prophet Zechariah, and if I
remember right, let’s see, I think it was [chapter] 12 — right? — 12:1-3.
ROSENBERG: That’s right.
PHILLIPS: Make the correlation for our viewers.
ROSENBERG: Well, this is the prophecy
that says that God is going to cause the nations of the world — the
leaders of the nations — almost get drunk with the dream of recapturing Jerusalem. Now,
the Bible says that first Jerusalem will
come back under Jewish control in the last days. That’ll be one of the
indicators [of the last days]. Well, that’s where we are today. What are we
watching? Saddam Hussein, or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah — they’re all drunk with the dream of
capturing Jerusalem. That’s what The Copper Scroll
novel is about, which is about this battle — this intense battle — to
liquidate the Jewish people and liberate Jerusalem. I
mean, are we seeing that happen? It’s hard not to say that we are. That’s
why I’ve gotten invited over to the CIA, and the White House, and Congress.
Because people — it’s not that they necessarily believe the prophecies,
but they want to understand the prophecies in the Bible, in light of what
is going on right now.
PHILLIPS: Do you think they’re taking what you’re saying and incorporating
it into foreign policy?
ROSENBERG: I wouldn’t go that far. But I
would say that Bible prophecy is an intercept from the mind of God. It’s
actually fairly remarkable intelligence. And that’s why my novels keep
coming true, because mine are on this side of the Rapture — leading up to
Jerry and Tim’s books — but they suggest the events that the Bible does
lay out that will gets us closer to those events. And in fact, one by one,
The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option and now The Copper Scroll,
they have this feeling of coming true. I think that’s why a million copies
have sold. They’re New York Times best-sellers. Because they are based on
Bible prophecy and they are coming true bit by bit, day by day.
PHILLIPS: Jerry, what do you think about what Joel wrote, about watching
the rise of a Russian-Iranian alliance seeking to wipe out Israel?
JENKINS: Well, I find it very fascinating, and of course, Joel is a real
geopolitical watcher. You know, compared to him I’m just a novelist. As he
said, Dr. LaHaye and I are writing about things that are yet to come in the
far future. But one of our takes is that nothing else has to happen before
Jesus returns. He could do it at any time, regardless of who’s in charge or
what the state of the Temple is. We
feel that all the prophecies have been fulfilled leading up to the return
of Christ, which means it could be today, tomorrow, next week or 100 years
from now. I’m fascinated by all the stuff that Joel is watching and seeing
and just love hearing him talk about it.
PHILLIPS: Joel, do I need to start taking care of unfinished business, and
telling people that I love them and I’m sorry for all the evil things I’ve
ROSENBERG: Well, I think that would be a
good start. I mean, Jesus loves the people of the Middle
East. Matthew 15, Jesus was in southern Lebanon. Why?
Telling the people of Lebanon that He
loved them, that God loved them. What’s interesting is that I was just at
the Iraqi Prime Minister’s speech today. You know, the Bible talked in Jewish
theology and Christian that Iraq would
be reborn as a country and would become phenomenally peaceful and
prosperous, and then a terrible dictator known as the Antichrist will
arise. Watching this speech today in the House of Representatives, the
first speech by an Iraqi Prime Minister to a Joint Session of Congress, it
strikes me that bit by bit we’re watching Revelation and these other
prophecies get closer to fulfillment.
PHILLIPS: Joel Rosenberg and Jerry Jenkins, you both scare me, but you both
fascinate me. Gentlemen, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
To track the latest developments in the Middle East crisis — including a
report on the Iraqi Prime Minister’s speech to Congress, and Vladimir
Putin’s new $1 billion arms deal with an enemy of the U.S. — please click
you’ve received >> FLASH TRAFFIC << from a friend and would
like to subscribe, please click here
visit Joel’s website, please click here