The following is an excerpt from the Glenn Beck radio show. No, it’s not a thorough or very deep dialogue, but after decades, even centuries of modern end times prognostications muddying up the water with one failed interpretation after another, this discussion is clear and superficially specific enough an overview for those more strategically or theologically oriented on these matters.
GLENN: How about Barack Obama saying that he wants to meet with the leaders of Iran? What do you say? Jimmy Carter says let’s meet with Syria, that will be fantastic. Meanwhile Israel is preparing for war. Israel is doing these drills. Do we have Joel Rosenberg on the phone? He’s in Jerusalem. Hello, Joel.
ROSENBERG: Hello, Glenn, how are you doing? Three days away. Hang in there.
GLENN: Three days. Then I’m free at last, free at last. Joel, tell me about the drills that are happening right now in Israel and they say, you know, this is just ordinary run-of-the-mill stuff but you say it’s not, right?
ROSENBERG: No, this is very, very significant. The entire country of Israel is engaged in a five-day exercise, the largest emergency drill ever performed in this country, a country of 7 million people. 1.7 million schoolchildren today had a race in the bomb shelters practicing as one part of the nationwide effort to prepare for a massive avalanche of missiles coming down from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. We just met with the Israel welfare minister this morning, one of the senior advisors to primary Olmert to be briefed, a number of evangelical leaders we’ve got over here for an epicenter conference tomorrow. And he basically made the case that the existential threat to Israel is Iran. They have no doubt here in Israel that Iran is feverishly trying to build, buy or steal nuclear weapons. What they don’t understand is why Russia is helping them and why the United States and NATO seems to be asleep at the switch.
GLENN: Let me just switch gears with you here because I mean, you know, we’ve got Iran installing more centrifuges. You know, I’ve been talking about this for years that Iran is the head of the snake over there. This is just an evil, evil group of people that are preparing for the Mahdi which if you — I don’t think I’ve ever asked you this, Joel. If you look at the 12th Mahdi and the way these nut jobs over in Iraq interprets the Qur’an and everything else, this guy looks an awful lot like the antichrist, doesn’t he?
ROSENBERG: He does, but he’s not. The Bible describes antichrist with a capital A and a little A.
ROSENBERG: Meaning there’s no question that what Ahmadinejad is in the spirit of the antichrist and what I mean by that is he wants to annihilate Judaeo-Christian civilization.
GLENN: I’m not talking about Ahmadinejad. I’m talking about the 12th Imam.
ROSENBERG: Oh, absolutely. There’s certainly that same feeling. Now, the Bible describes in Daniel 9 that the antichrist will come from Roman origins, from the people who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., but that being said this will certainly be a false Messiah of which Jesus described in Matthew 24, three times in one chapter describing what to watch for in the last days. Jesus said watch for false Messiahs and this will be one of them. Now, what I don’t know honestly, Glenn, is that is it possible that in the next few weeks or months or years someone is actually going to emerge that CNN and Fox and MSNBC and all these other networks will start to cover, Time will have them on the cover and could end up being the Mahdi of the year. I don’t know. You know, we don’t know what they’re talking about. What we know is that Ahmadinejad and his allies believe so passionately that this Mahdi, this Islamic Messiah is coming and what’s driving their foreign policy in Iran right now is their belief that they need to get ready for this Mahdi by annihilating two countries: Israel whom they call the little Satan, and the United States whom they call the great Satan. And anyone in Washington who doesn’t understand the theological drive that’s pushing Iranian foreign policy is at risk of being blindsided by an evil they may not see coming.
GLENN: Well, here’s the thing that most people don’t understand and I didn’t understand it for a long time, we’re the great Satan and little Satan, blah, blah, blah. What they mean by that is it is the same story line that Christians have. For the most part it’s basically the same story except Israel is the little A antichrist and we are the big A antichrist. They don’t—we look at it as a person. They look at it as a country or an overwhelming force, right?
ROSENBERG: They do. Now, there is in the Qur’an an actual character named the Gajal (ph) who becomes an actual sort of antichrist figure, an actual person. But you are absolutely right. Radical Islam is a mirror image and therefore a massive distortion of the Jewish and Christian scriptures but there’s a lot of similarities. It’s just completely opposite.
ROSENBERG: They have a war of Gog and Magog, a Russian Iranian alliance that attacks Israel but they feel it wins.
For another interesting take, check out former Muslim, now Christian Simon Altaf’s website and books on the topic.
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