As the bombs continue to fall over the Middle East, according to Newsweek, Tim LaHaye is talking to the End Timers that this is the sign of Rapture.

When Tim LaHaye talks, the faithful listen–by the millions. The conservative Protestant minister is the coauthor of the wildly popular apocalyptic “Left Behind” novels. The controversial books, which have sold more than 60 million copies, depict the biblical end of the world: the Christian eschatology of the upheaval that precedes the second coming of Jesus Christ, known also as “end times.” LaHaye recently spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Brian Braiker about why he believes the events currently unfolding in the Middle East reflect biblical prophesy.

Excerpts of the interview:

NEWSWEEK: How do you interpret what’s happening in the Middle East? Are you seeing signs that these are the end of days?

Tim LaHaye: Biblically speaking, the very nations that are mentioned in prophecy–and have been mentioned for 2,500 years as occupying the focus of the tension of the last days–are the very nations that are involved in the conflict right now. That may be one of the reasons there’s a sudden interest in bible prophecy because all of a sudden they realize end-time events could possibly take place and break forth right now.

But my understanding is that current biblical scholarship reads some of the apocalyptic scenes in the Bible as metaphorically addressing events that were taking place as the Bible was being written.

Tim LaHaye: These are usually liberal theologians that don’t believe the Bible literally.

You’ve also written that “millions of unbelievers will be saved during the terrible time of the ‘Tribulation’.” What do you mean by that?

Tim LaHaye: I take that from Revelation, chapter 7. One of the things that’s going to happen after the Tribulation, after the church is gone, there’ll be no one here to witness the faith in Christ. So the Lord raises up 144,000 Jewish witnesses and he names the tribes that they come from. The result of those witnesses is they reach a multitude of souls that receive Christ.

The rest are softball questions. But recently on Mother Jones there was a blog entry on Harper’s Ken Silverstein. End-timers really do think the Rapture is happening now.

Praise God! We are chosen to be in these times and also watch and spread the word. Something inside me is exploding to get out, and I don’t know what it is. Its kind of like I want to do cartwheels around the neighborhood.

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In another thread, someone brought up the fact that the kidnapping of the first Israeli soldier that started this whole thing was on June 25th and if you count from that day to August 3rd…….it is *EXACTLY 40 days!!!!! I find that to be a HUGE coincidence.

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Whoa! I can sure feel the glory bumps after reading this thread!

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I too am soooo excited!! I get goose bumps, literally, when I watch what’s going on in the M.E.!! And Watcherboy, you were so right when saying it was quite a day yesterday, in the world news, and I add in local news here in the Boston area!! Tunnel ceiling collapsed on a car and killed a woman of faith, and we had the most terrifying storms I have ever seen here!! But, yes, oh happy day, like in your screen name, it is most indeed a time to be happy and excited, right there with ya!!

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I am excited beyond words that the struggle of this life may be over soon and I can finally be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

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This is so exciting….I’m having a hard time believing this is ‘real’!

There is one thing I do like about the Newsweek article, he did ask LaHaye why he donated money for a hockey rink at Liberty University if these are the end times. LaHaye’s answer – Proselytism with a hockey puck or as he put it, “Evangelism with a hockey puck.”

We are living in a mad mad world. Knowing Dudya is a hard core fundi, are James Dobson, LaHaye, Jerry Falwell and and the rest of Council for National Policy (CNP) running the show?

Steven D, given that I just linked to a Diary you did on Feb 2005 at DKos to define who the CNP really are, what do you think? Are they running the show now?

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