Here's Hal's account of the interview, let's see how Newsweek spins this.
Oracle Commentaries 8/6/2006
NEWSWEEK questions for Hal Lindsey
I am posting this interview that I had with a feature reporter for NEWSWEEK. The reporter is doing research for a future cover story. These are my answers to his questions. It will be interesting to see what NEWSWEEK does with my answers.
NEWSWEEK Q: From where did you get the idea for your groundbreaking book?
Answer #1: The basic ideas for ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’ came from an intensive study of Theologians who took prophecy literally or normally, grammatically and historically. From the 3rd Century until the late 18th Century, the vast majority of Church leaders interpreted prophecy with a very allegorical method. That is, they interpreted passages that clearly had a literal intent as allegory. The majority of leaders in the major denominations still interpret prophecy allegorically. Most of the men who began to interpret prophecy literally wrote from the late 18th Century until the present time. My main contribution was to make prophecy simple and understandable to the average person, especially those without a religious background. On a personal note, I taught about these things on the U.S. College campuses during the tumultuous decades of the 1960s and 1970s. It was the one Bible subject to which students really responded.
NEWSWEEK Q: Do you think its prophecies are being fulfilled today -- and that the current conflict in Israel is just one more sign of that?
Answer #2: The events taking place in the current Iranian/Syrian sponsored Hezbollah and Hamas war with Israel continue to fit precisely into the predicted scenario about which I wrote in the Late Great Planet Earth and in my twenty subsequent books.
NEWSWEEK Q: Will those who oppose Israel eventually be proved wrong?
Answer #3: Yes, but I believe it will take the coming of the Messiah to do it. Dr. John Cumming wrote in his book, The Destiny of the Nations, in 1864, “How comes it to pass that as a nation they (Israel) have been dispersed over every land, yet insulated, separated, and alone amid the nations? The predictions of their restoration are in words as definite only not yet fulfilled, and it is as a nation that they shall be gathered and restored.” This was fulfilled literally, against all odds, in May of 1948. Twenty six hundred years ago, the prophet Ezekiel predicted clues to identify when this would happen, “After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.” (Ezek.38:8 NAS)
Note this would happen in “the latter years” after the Israelites were scattered throughout the world and the land of Israel became a desolation for a long time. History is witness to all of this. The important factors that Ezekiel brings out in chapters 36-39 are these: First, God warns that He will judge the surrounding nations (which are all Muslim today) that have “appropriated My land for themselves as a possession with whole hearted joy and with scorn of soul …” (It is important to note here that God says it is “His land.”) (Ezek.36:5) Second, God predicts that he will restore Israel to the land He promised them even though they do not deserve it, “… It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act … For I will take you from all the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you to your own land.” (36:22, 24) Third, God predicts that Israel’s return will finally provoke a conflict that will end with the ‘war of Armageddon.’ The attackers will be led by a nation from Israel’s extreme north (Russia) that will lead a confederacy of surrounding nations and that chief among them will be Persia (modern Iran). Fourth, God promises that even though Israel will go through this holocaust, a believing remnant will be delivered and given all the covenants God unconditionally swore to them through their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Fifth, God promises that this restored nation of Israel will never again be destroyed, “They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons' sons, forever; and David My servant (The Messiah) will be their prince forever.” (Ezek.37:25)
NEWSWEEK Q: Is the success and survival of the United States based on its support of Israel
Answer #4 I believe one of the reasons God has protected the U.S., despite the fact we have driven God from the public forum in our country, is because we have sought to protect Israel’s right to exist in secure borders. We have also been a safe haven for Israelites. When God gave the solemn covenant to Abraham that He would make him and his descendents into a special nation, He gave this special promise of protection, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.” (Gen. 12:3) I believe God blesses those who help Israel. The rise and fall of nations can be traced to how they treated the Jews.
NEWSWEEK Q: Will the West need to defeat Islamists for Israel or must radical Islam continue in order for the prophecy to be fulfilled?
Answer #5: I believe the hostility of Fundamental Islam over Israel’s return and re-possession their ancient homeland and Jerusalem is predicted to be the driving force that ignites Armageddon. Twenty-five hundred years ago, the prophet Zechariah predicted, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples (Muslim nations), when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” (Zech.12:2-3 NKJ) The whole world will be drawn into this final war that is ignited over possession of Jerusalem.
NEWSWEEK Q: Are you of the belief that the Jewish people are also God's chosen people or will they need to accept Jesus before His coming?
Answer #6: I believe that the Israelites are God’s chosen people for these reasons:
>They were chosen to receive, write down and preserve God’s Word.
>They were to take the knowledge of how to know the true God to the nations.
>They were chosen as the race through whom the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind, would be born.
>Physically, they are chosen as God’s nation. I love them whether they accept Jesus as Messiah or not. But God repeatedly warns them throughout the Old Testament that their eternal destiny depends upon believing in His atonement for sin. This is why the system of blood sacrifice was instituted at the same time the Law was given. Moses taught that without blood atonement, there is no forgiveness. Isaiah chapter 53 reveals the ultimate atonement of which the animal sacrifices were only a picture. Isaiah wrote, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa.53:4-6) The person described here dies for the sins of Israel. So he cannot be, as most rabbis teach, a personification of Israel. Israel cannot die for its own sins.
Zechariah predicts how the nation will be given forgiveness, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on ME WHOM THEY PIERCED. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” (Zech. 12:10) Isaiah answers when Israel pierced their God above.
NEWSWEEK Q: Can any of the land in Israel -- like the West Bank -- be given up for peace? Can Jerusalem? What are the consequences parts of Israel are given away for political purposes? (Does Israel need to expand?)
Answer #7: I believe God fulfilled His promise to Israel in June 1967. But Israel failed to see the miracle that He gave them. They began to pay more attention to world opinion than to the promises of their God. So they began to give away land for empty promises of peace. It is not a coincidence that everyone responsible for giving away the land God gave Israel met with tragic circumstances. Menachem Begin left office in disgrace after giving away the Sinai. Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated after instituting the disastrous process of the Oslo Accords. The great general, Ariel Sharon suffered a tragic stroke after giving away Gaza. I believe all of this was done because of a lack of faith in God’s promises. I do not believe that Israel should give away another meter of ground to people who demonstrate they do not want a state beside Israel, but a state instead of Israel. After all, Israel is the only nation on earth that has a title deed to its land from the Creator-God.
By: Hal Lindsey