On the October 18 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck interviewed Christian author Joel C. Rosenberg about what Rosenberg claimed are his visits to "speak at a White House Bible study" and conversations with "a number of congressional leaders and Homeland Security, Pentagon [officials] about my novels, which are based on Bible prophecy." Rosenberg later added that "the question that's been most interesting among these various administration and congressional officials is, 'Are you saying that the Bible talks about an alliance between Iran, Russia, and a group of Middle Eastern countries to attack Israel at some point?' And the answer is yes." As Media Matters for America has noted, Rosenberg appeared on CNN and Fox News in July and August, respectively, to tout his prediction that the escalated violence between Israel and Hezbollah was evidence that the Apocalypse was nigh.
Rosenberg said that during his visits, "I had a high-ranking congressman say right to me, 'Are you kidding? I mean, I've never even heard of this, of Russia and Iran forming an alliance.' " Rosenberg later stated that, "in the 2,500 years since Ezekiel wrote the prophecy, Russia and Iran have never had an alliance, but they are developing one now." Rosenberg also claimed that certain past events "looked like apocalyptic moments" in 1967 and 1973, when the Soviet Union "was right on the verge of sending ground troops into Israel," but that "God kicked the can up the road, as it were. And the United States was a key player in that," adding: "So the question is: Will we deal with Iran now or are we going to wait for them to launch an apocalyptic war against us?"
Additionally, at the end of the interview, Beck claimed that "the interesting thing to me is, even though I may not believe" the apocalypse is near, "[Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad does believe it." But as Media Matters noted, Beck has repeatedly singled out certain news events as evidence of "the Apocalypse." On the July 12 edition of his television show, Beck identified the conflicts in the Middle East and India as evidence that "it is the end of days" and later described the conflicts as "World War III and the impending apocalypse." Beck also stated on that show that "whether you like it or not, this is a religious war."
As Media Matters also noted, on the July 13 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Beck and former CIA officer Robert Baer had a similar discussion about the purported implications of escalated violence between Israel and Hezbollah, during which Baer said: "We can see this spreading into other countries. We are much closer to Armageddon." On the July 18 edition of the program, Beck referred to a heat wave as "the apocalypse," and after showing a photo of a cat born with two faces, Beck said it was "further evidence, oh, yes, that the end of days is approaching quickly." He then asked: "How far away from the plague of locusts are we?" As Media Matters further noted, on the July 24 edition of the program, while discussing Iran, Beck said: "I truly believe these mullahs are far worse than Hitler. ... I believe these guys are biblically evil." He concluded: "We have a series starting tomorrow on the coming of the messiah."
From the October 18 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Joel Rosenberg has been called to the White House, now, to brief the administration on "end of days" scenario. He joins us now.
Joel, I read this in, I think it was Rolling Stone magazine, and they're trying to -- you know, they're trying to say, "Oh, look, he's being controlled by the Bible." Does the president believe these are the end of days?
ROSENBERG: Well, I've -- I did speak at a White House Bible study. It was actually last year. I've spoken to a number of congressional leaders and Homeland Security, Pentagon about my novels, that -- which are based on Bible prophecy. I have not met with the president of the United States.
ROSENBERG: And I can't tell you what he believes. I have a feeling, talking to my -- based on my conversation with friends at the White House, he's got a pretty full plate. You know, he's more concerned about what Ahmadinejad believes about the end of the world than -- than spending time on this himself.
BECK: See, here's the -- here's the interesting thing that I think that Christians understand that are looking at, you know, "end of days" stuff. It doesn't mean that it is going to happen. It means --
BECK: -- that there are a certain series of events that, if you don't stop them or reverse them, they will happen. Am I wrong? It's not a doomsday scenario.
ROSENBERG: Well, it's a little combination of both. The Bible does lay out a whole series of things to watch for --
ROSENBERG: -- that would indicate that we are living in the last days. One of them is a Russian-Iranian alliance with Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and a group of other countries --
ROSENBERG: -- that will attack Israel. Now, those events that the Bible predicts, those will happen. But we don't know yet if we are there.
ROSENBERG: Obviously, Russia and Iran --
BECK: But you -- but it also --
ROSENBERG: -- are building an alliance now that has not happened in the 2,500 years since the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote it.
ROSENBERG: So, it's intriguing.
BECK: But you could also slow that down. You could -- if that alliance happens, you could do things to prevent it. You know, it's not inevitable that this is the time, even if that alliance is formed.
ROSENBERG: The timing -- the timing is the key --
ROSENBERG: -- for Jews and Christians, which is: Are we ready? Now, events can converge, and then, you know, you had a situation in which the Soviet Union, as I describe in Epicenter, in 1967 in that war and in '73, was right on the verge of sending ground troops into Israel.
I got the NSA/State Department/White House transcripts of how close they came. But they didn't. So, those looked like apocalyptic moments --
ROSENBERG: -- but God kicked the can up the road, as it were. And the United States was a key player in that.
ROSENBERG: So the question is: Will we deal with Iran now, or are we going to wait for them to launch an apocalyptic war against us?
BECK: OK. Now, Joel, when you were at the Pentagon and the White House, et cetera, et cetera, what were their questions? And what are they -- more importantly, what are the answers that you gave them and what are the answers that you should -- that the American people should hear?
ROSENBERG: Well, the question that's been most interesting among these various administration and congressional officials is, "Are you saying that the Bible talks about an alliance between Iran, Russia, and a group of Middle Eastern countries to attack Israel at some point?" And the answer is yes.
Ezekiel, Chapter 38 and 39 describes what Bible scholars call the war of Gog and Magog. I had a high-ranking congressman say right to me, "Are you kidding? I mean, I've never even heard of this, of Russia and Iran forming an alliance."
The word Russia is never used in the Bible. Persia is the name for Iran, and you have to do some historical detective work to discover what the ancient names correspond to in modern times. And I do that in the book.
But it is quite fascinating, because, as I said, in the 2,500 years since Ezekiel wrote the prophecy, Russia and Iran have never had an alliance, but they are developing one now.
ROSENBERG: And that's what is so chilling, in light of what Ahmadinejad is saying -- that he believes the end of the world is rapidly approaching.
ROSENBERG: There's sort of convergence there.
BECK: Here is the -- here is the thing. And we're gonna have to finish this conversation on the radio tomorrow. I'd like to spend some real time with you on this stuff tomorrow, because the interesting thing to me is, even though I may not believe it, Ahmadinejad does believe it.