By Jim Fletcher
The author of the hottest new book in the nation – as it was dubbed recently on Amazon – is making a suggestion remarkably similar to one that got Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell in trouble shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
Could the destruction of the World Trade Center have been part of God’s judgment on America?
The name of the book is “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future.”
The author is Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish leader who is certain that God’s hedge of protection has been lifted from the United States, at least in terms of the economy, and that the nation has plunged into a period of unparalleled apostasy.
So what does he think about a nation’s trials and tribulations being a judgment?
“Any message that suggests that God could be shaking a nation, warning a nation or judging a nation because of its sins, is not going to be popular or celebrated by the media,” he told WND. “Who wants to be told that they’re wrong, or on the wrong side of God, or in danger of judgment? One has to either be open to receiving it and changing one’s course, or one has to take offense.
“When Jeremiah told his countrymen that they were in danger of judgment, there was an uproar,” he said. “Instead of receiving it in humility, for what it was – an alarm meant to save them from destruction, they took offense and attacked him and his message. He was vilified, he was accused of being a traitor, he was persecuted.”
Cahn continued, “That’s always the way its been. But the message they attacked was meant to save them. ‘The Harbinger’ is such a message. And the same choice that confronted Israel, now confronts America.”
In others, sir, it’s up to America now?
“If you install a fire alarm in your house, you don’t want it to sound its warning with soothing music. If it’s going to do its job, it has to catch your attention. It has to be piercing. It has to be jarring. It has to get your attention. ‘The Harbinger’ is an alarm. Its message has to be able to pierce through the barriers of culture in order to accomplish its purpose.”
But he said he wants to avoid the appearance of being a judge announcing judgment; that’s not his role.
“At the same time such a message can only be delivered with humility. Jeremiah was not merely saying ‘You have sinned,’ but ‘We have sinned.’ And it was no accident that he was called ‘the weeping prophet.’”
But what about America now?
“Nine-eleven was caused by evil men. But there can be no question that 9/11 was allowed to happen. The only question is whether there was no purpose or meaning to it, or whether there was. ‘The Harbinger’ says there was, the calling of God to a nation that was departing from Him and warring against His ways – God calling America back. So it’s ultimately saying that 9/11 was not meaningless but even contained a redemptive purpose.”
He said, “The message is very different from someone just sharing their opinion that God is judging America. ‘The Harbinger’ reveals an ancient mystery, specific and precise signs, progressions, and manifestations that are now reappearing in America. The mystery lies behind not only 9/11, but the collapse of Wall Street and the American economy, the Great Recession and everything in between. It’s so precise that it ordains the exact words spoken by American leaders, and the exact dates of the greatest financial collapses in American history. It’s behind what’s happening to America right now and in exact precision. So it’s not a matter of just feeling something – it’s there. It bears its own message.”
He’s not worried about critics.
“As was the case in the wake of 9/11, when the possibility that the calamity could be linked to judgment was raised, and as in the case of ancient Israel, when God’s prophetic warnings produced a storm of controversy, expect a similar reaction to ‘The Harbinger.’ There will be those who hear and receive its message – and those who attack it. But my job is to sound the warning and pray for America. And as the Bible declares, ‘Let him who has ears to hear, hear.’”
Cahn, who leads Florida-based Hope of the Work Ministries, first felt the winds of change in this country immediately after 9/11. It signaled an awakening of sorts.
“It began really right after 9/11; the ministry is not far from there. My wife was supposed to be at the World Trade Center that morning. We’re in the shadow of it.”
As Cahn began to analyze the impact of the terrorist attacks, he was startled to find striking parallels between ancient Israel and modern America, in the form of “harbingers” (foreshadowing of events to come) that he discerned from Scripture.
Specifically, Cahn is referencing Isaiah chapter 9, verses 9 and 10:
And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
“The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
(Preceding these verses is the famous “for unto us a child is born” signaling the advent of the Messiah.)
The Israelites did not heed the warnings, and God sent nine harbingers, laying out in remarkable detail what would befall the nation. Cahn sees eerie parallels with modern America.
“It’s linked to the same warnings; the same signs occurred in ancient Israel as a pattern of judgment of a nation reoccurring in America.”
Cahn begins his new novel with a judgment of America that is being felt across-the-board.
The Harbinger starts at 9/11 and goes through the economic collapse.
Cahn points out that exactly as the ancient Israelites responded with defiance to God’s warnings, America responded the same way after 9/11, with an American senator actually declaring that the country would be “defiant” in the face of the attacks. Of course, he was generally speaking about the terrorists who launched the attacks, but Cahn points out that America continued on the same immoral path the country has been walking for decades.
“As it was in ancient Israel, after awhile what would have been clearly seen as evil or sin, or what would have been outrageous … has become the mainstream,” he says.
Then there are those who simply hold to what has always been the standard of morality in God’s Word and are viewed now as outrageous, or subversive or troublemakers.
“That was the same as the period of apostasy in Israel. Those who were righteous were increasingly seen as enemies. That’s exactly the pattern of apostasy as with ancient Israel.
“I make a point in the book that Israel offered up thousands of children and we’ve offered up millions. America is unique in that it was founded by the Puritans to be a ‘second Israel,’ and knowing God and spreading the gospel and have a vibrant faith.”
Cahn also points out that God waited for His people to respond, and when they did, the handwriting was on the wall, as it were.
“So just as we followed Israel in our founding, so we are following Israel in its apostasy,” he said.
It would be a few years before the full import of the Isaiah prophecy became clear to Cahn.
“It was 2004 when I was standing at Ground Zero, by St. Paul’s (the landmark cathedral near the Twin Towers, shielded by a huge sycamore tree on that terrible day), near the tree that was cut down. It seemed like something said, this is significant, follow this. It was the first piece of this puzzle of this unfolding mystery.”
The sycamore reference is found directly in the Isaiah 9 prophecy.
Cahn began to realize that he wanted to write and speak about this amazing parallel, and slowly he formed the outlines of “The Harbinger.”
“The Harbinger then crystallized. I shared this with the congregation and immediately people were stunned. They said this word has to get out.
“It was a bit later I was led to write the book. As I was writing, the financial collapse of America began to happen.”
The Harbinger has just been released, and already the author is getting massive feedback: “People are saying they’re amazed, stunned, startled by it.”
As WND previously reported, two major American political figures actually voiced the specific Isaiah 9:10 prophecy in public in the immediate wake of the 9/11 onslaught.
One was on Sept. 12, 2001, when Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America’s response to the world.
Daschle said: “America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.”
He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10:
Then on the third anniversary of the attack, Sept. 11, 2004, another well-known U.S. senator running for vice president that year and who would run for the presidency four years later, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards' entire speech was built on Isaiah 9:10: "Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord's Word to get us through."
He then read Isaiah 9:10 and went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars:
The Washington Post reported days after the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that Falwell and Robertson discussed whether civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters bore partial responsibility for the attacks.
"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve," Falwell said on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club," which was hosted by Robertson on that September 2001 day.
"Jerry, that's my feeling," Robertson responded. "I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population."
Falwell noted the overt moves across American to throw "God out of the public square."
At the time, he said, "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way – all of them who have tried to secularize America – I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"
The two leaders were reviled by secular commentators who expressed antipathy for their beliefs.